The Manitoba government introduced proposed legislation on Tuesday that would see an increase in the tobacco tax.

According to the province, this measure will ensure the retail price of tobacco products stays about the same once PST is reduced to seven per cent. 

“As a result of the PST reduction, we are making this amendment to maintain the current selling price of tobacco, and any additional revenue associated with the adjustment will be directed toward investments in health care,” said Finance Minister Scott Fielding in a news release. 

“We are pleased to follow through on the advice we received from the Canadian Cancer Society and its partner organizations.” 

In April, anti-smoking advocates wrote a letter to the government urging it to amend the budget bill so that cigarettes don’t become more affordable once the PST is decreased.

READ MORE: Increase tobacco tax to offset PST reduction: anti-smoking advocates to province

“This would ensure that the retail price of cigarettes would not decrease, which is important because higher taxes and prices are the most effective strategy to reduce smoking, especially among youth,” the letter said.

The province’s proposed legislation would mean the tax on each cigarette would be 30 cents; on fine cut tobacco it would be 45.5 cents per gram; and on raw leaf tobacco products it would be 27.5 cents per gram. 

These proposed changes would come into effect on July 1, the same day as the PST reduction, if the bill receives royal assent before the legislative assembly rises on June 3, or on Nov. 15 if it receives royal assent on or after July 1.