Mr. Speaker, it appears this government is going to cave in to the law breakers by lowering taxes on cigarettes.
Tobacco, I might point out to this House, is the only legal consumer product that kills when used exactly as intended. It costs the Canadian taxpayer an estimated $15 billion in indirect and direct health care costs.
The revenue minister says cost does not affect the use of tobacco. I wonder what the minister is smoking. In 1992 Statistics Canada indicated: "Affordability is to date the most significant factor in the reduction of tobacco use in Canada. Regular smoking among Canadian teenagers has plummeted as taxes drove prices up higher".
How about getting from the Minister of Health a real commitment to the health of Canadians. Stop the smoke-screen. The Minister of Health should come clean and cough up: Does she or does she not support lowering taxes on cigarettes?