April Fools’ may have been a day of pranks and practical jokes, but a new provincial tax hike on cigarette sales in BC, which took effect on April 1, is very real. Every cigarette smoker in BC is now paying a little extra for their tobacco.
After the plan was announced in the provincial government’s latest budget, new taxes on cigarettes took effect on Sunday.
The new tax rate on cigarettes has been increased from 24.7 cents to 27.5 cents per cigarette, which is equivalent to a hike from $49.40 to $55 per carton of 200 cigarettes.
The increase is forecast to generate an additional $95 million for the provincial government for the 2018-19 fiscal year, which will grow BC’s tobacco tax revenues to a total of $825 million for that period.
Sunday’s price increase for cigarettes is the second such hike in six months.
Back in October, the tax rate on cigarettes went up from 23.9 cents to 24.7 cents per cigarette.
The average combined taxation in Canada on cigarettes is about 70% of the retail price.
This latest cigarette tax comes on the heels of a federal tax increase to the price of alcohol, which also took effect April 1.