Canadian cigarette production goes up, but sales drop

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      Canadian manufacturers produced more cigarettes in November 2020, but sold less in the same month last year.

      Manufacturers made 1.9 billion cigarettes last November, up 17.8 percent from October 2020.

      Also, cigarette production was 4.8 percent higher compared with November 2019.

      Sales didn’t look good.

      In November 2020, a total of 1.4 billion cigarettes were sold, representing a 7.1 percent decline from October.

      Compared to the same month in 2019, sales in November 2020 were 20.3 percent lower.

      Statistics Canada provided this snapshot of Canadian cigarette manufacturing and sales in a report Friday (January 8).

      Latest government figures about cigarette sales indicate a declining trend.

      To illustrate, annual cigarette sales plunged from 42.1 billion in 2011 to 27.1 billion in 2017.

      In 2017, the top five provinces with the highest sales were: Ontario (9,800,266,993), Quebec (6,634,534,115), Alberta (3,671,488,653), British Columbia (2,855,280,484), and Saskatchewan (1,015,983,475).

      Cigarettes and the rest of the tobacco industry provide tax revenues for governments in Canada.

      The Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada reported online on December 15, 2019 that tobacco taxes represent about 1.5 percent of Canadian tax revenues.

      As a percentage, tobacco taxes constitute about 1.1 percent of total government revenues.

      In 2019, total tobacco tax revenues received by Canadian governments totalled $8.3 billion.

      According to the organization of medical doctors, $3.4 billion or 41 percent of the $8.3 billion was collected by the federal government.

      Provinces received $4.9 billion out of the total tobacco tax revenues.

      “Almost all of this revenue results from the sale of cigarettes,” the Physicians for a Smoke-Free Canada noted.

      The association also mentioned that the federal government receives an average of $690 each year from each of the country’s estimated 4.9 million smokers.

      Imperial Tobacco Canada Limited, Rothmans, Benson & Hedges Incorporated (RBH), and JTI-Macdonald Corporation represent the biggest manufacturers.

      A federal government report about tobacco control for 2016-2017 notes that there has been a “significant reduction in tobacco use prevalence”.

      “However, despite decades of effort, there are still 4.6 million tobacco users in Canada, including 3.9 million current smokers,” the report states.

      The document also notes that in 2015, 115,000 Canadians became daily smokers.

      According to the paper, tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease and premature death in Canada.

      It notes that tobacco use kills “one in two long-term users”.

      “It causes many serious chronic illnesses, including cancer, respiratory ailments, and heart disease. Each year, about 37,000 Canadians die from tobacco use,” the government report states.