In 2013, Nunavummiut bought more than 66 million cigarettes. In 2011, more than 31 billion cigarettes were sold across Canada.
In 2011, the GN passed a law so it could sue the producers of tobacco products. The GN spends millions every year on treating tobacco-related illnesses. Unfortunately, tobacco taxes only help pay for a small portion of this. The GN wants to force the tobacco companies to contribute more to these costs.
In 2013, Nunavummiut spent more than $48 million on tobacco products.
In 2002, tobacco use cost Nunavut’s health care system more than $20 million. There has been no further research to determine the cost of tobacco to our territory since then.
However, we do know health-care costs have doubled in Nunavut since 2002. We also know that tobacco-related illnesses are on the rise elsewhere in Canada, and it’s likely that this cost has increased by millions of dollars.
One Canadian dies from a tobacco-related disease every 12 minutes. Tobacco smoke kills more than 37,000 Canadians every year. More than 1,000 non-smokers die from second-hand smoke exposure each year.
To put it in perspective: tobacco use causes more deaths each year than alcohol, car accidents and murders put together.
- Tobacco products use gives a high amount of nicotine. This helps lead to addiction.
- Tobacco companies target young people. They recently launched flavours (candy, fruit, chocolate) in cigarettes. These flavours attract youth.
- TV, movies and music videos often make tobacco use look “cool”.
- The tobacco industry uses creative designs and marketing. These keep people buying deadly tobacco products. They use creative designs for snuff, pipes, cigars, chewing tobacco, flavoured tobacco and e-cigarettes.
At this time, the GN has not launched a lawsuit against any tobacco company.