The cost of tobacco
There are many costs associated with tobacco use, including premature death and a wide range of illnesses and cancers. These health effects are physically and emotionally devastating to individuals, their families and loved ones.
In 2009 the Canadian Cancer Society commissioned GPIAtlantic to calculate the cost of tobacco use to the Saskatchewan economy. Their report estimates the total cost is $1.1 billion annually.
The report also found enormous potential benefits to investing in tobacco reduction.
A decline of 25% in smoking rates from 20% to 15% could save Saskatchewan about $70 million not including employer cost-savings. That is why the Canadian Cancer Society has worked hard to advocate for a well-funded provincial tobacco control strategy.
Currently, the provincial government invests about $300,000 toward tobacco reduction. It collects more than $250 million annually in provincial tobacco taxes. Given that Saskatchewan has some of the highest smoking rates in Canada, the provincial government needs to invest more money in programs and policies that will reduce tobacco use.