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.

How many cigarettes are sold each year?

In 2013, Nunavummiut bought more than 66 million cigarettes. In 2011, more than 31 billion cigarettes were sold across Canada.

How much do Nunavummiut spend on tobacco in a year?

In 2013, Nunavummiut spent more than $48 million on tobacco products.

How much does Nunavut’s health care system spend to treat tobacco-related illnesses?

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.

How many people die from tobacco-related diseases?

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.

How does the tobacco industry get us hooked?
  • 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.
Is the Government of Nunavut (GN) suing tobacco companies?

At this time, the GN has not launched a lawsuit against any tobacco company.