Manitoba's New Vaping Tax: A Smoke Screen We Can't Afford to Ignore

Manitoba's New Vaping Tax: A Smoke Screen We Can't Afford to Ignore

Canadians, it is time to remind the Federal and Provincial Governments that we elect them to serve us, not the other way around. Stop letting them push you over and steal your hard-earned income (which is already taxed). Join the Rights4Vapers Initiative and stop the egotistical actions before they are passed into law and affect you and those you love for the worse.

In a recent announcement, the Manitoba government has declared its intention to impose a tax on vaping products, expected to rake in an undisclosed sum, speculated to be at least $2 million. This decision, shrouded in fiscal opacity, is being packaged under the familiar guise of 'protecting the youth'—a narrative both overused and underwhelming. Why don’t we take a trip down memory lane, just to see how the age old cliche “protecting Canadians” tactic has cost you millions of dollars.



Contrary to the Federal and Provincial Government beliefs - We as Canadians are not naive. The tired trope of safeguarding the youth from vaping serves merely as a veneer, a smoke screen too thin to obscure the government's true intent: generating revenue under the cloak of public health. This approach is not just misguided but predictably ineffective. Historical evidence from similar health-centric taxes—like those on sugary drinks or tobacco—suggests that they seldom achieve their avowed objectives. Instead, they often disproportionately affect lower-income demographics, exacerbating the very public health issues they claim to address.


Furthermore, the lack of transparency regarding the projected profits from this tax is alarming. The government has been tight-lipped, not confirming figures but allowing enough information to seep through to suggest a significant windfall. This lack of clarity raises questions about the accountability and the actual allocation of these funds. Will they indeed be directed towards public health initiatives, or will they disappear into the broader fiscal abyss?



The new tax poses a direct threat to businesses specializing in vaping products, which are often marketed as a less harmful alternative to traditional tobacco. By inflating the prices of these alternatives, the government may unintentionally deter smokers from switching to a potentially safer option. This is particularly concerning given that a pack of vape cartridges, which currently costs approximately $16.99 at outlets like Flamingo Plus, could see an increase of 24%, pushing the price to over $21. This could amount to an additional yearly expense of nearly $200 for regular users, funneling more money into government coffers without a corresponding benefit to public health.



The repercussions for local businesses are particularly severe, and these consequences will be passed onto consumers who are just trying to survive. Many vape shops, which are small and locally owned, operate on thin margins. An increase in taxes could lead to closures, job losses, and a significant blow to local economies. Specifically, if even a handful of these small businesses were to close due to the new tax, thousands of Canadians could be left without jobs. These shops typically employ between 5 - 75 people each, contributing significantly to local employment.



Where will the money come for the tax if businesses close and Canadians are left jobless? A closure not only means lost jobs but also lost community investments, as these businesses often support local activities and charities. Think of all the money the government is profiting while Canadians go jobless during this tough fiscal period. First, income tax increases after the Bank of Canada acknowledges extreme inflation; now struggling Canadians are being robbed blind under the smoke screen "protect the kids". Who are they really protecting? Themselves and their vacation homes.



Moreover, this tax follows a painful reminder of the 2016 mandate requiring all e-liquid products to feature warning labels, a regulation that imposed tens of thousands of dollars in compliance costs on these local businesses. Many of us vividly remember the outrage as prices spiked almost overnight; the price of a typical bottle of e-liquid jumped from $16 to $18, directly passing these regulatory costs onto consumers—yet another instance where governmental interventions led to substantial increases in everyday expenses for ordinary Canadians.



Adding to these grievances, a 2018 law was introduced that further restricted the vaping industry by prohibiting the advertising of certain e-liquids, though not all. This selective ban significantly impacted sales for many businesses, forcing them to increase their prices to cover the losses by $1-$2 per product. This not only pushed the financial burden onto consumers but also conveniently boosted government revenues—a clear indication that, when it comes to vaping, the government sees users as little more than a convenient source of funds.



Furthermore, the government has annually attempted to implement a ban on flavored e-liquids, pushing consumers to choose between flavorless juice or traditional tobacco products. These proposed bans are not about protecting Canadians; they are about limiting the types of businesses Canadians can operate. The government appears to selectively decide which legal substances are most profitable and thus allowable, seemingly nudging vapers back towards tobacco—a choice that is both worse for health and more costly for the average Canadian.



The financial burden for Canadian vapers was exacerbated in 2021 with the federal implementation of an excise tax on vaping products, where the tax is levied per milliliter of vaping liquid. Under this scheme, each milliliter of vape juice is now subject to a tax rate that significantly inflates the cost. Previously, an average 60ml bottle of e-liquid priced at $20 now attracts an additional tax, pushing the retail price considerably higher to $29. For a regular user consuming one bottle per week, the annual cost of vaping has skyrocketed from around $1,040 to potentially over $1,300, depending on the specific tax rate applied per milliliter. This steep increase in costs starkly contrasts with the more affordable vaping options available prior to the tax, highlighting how these legislative changes serve to funnel more money to the government while directly impacting the wallets of everyday Canadians.



If we look back at all the price increases in the last 8 years, costs have more than doubled. Going from $16 to $29 per product is an increase that doesn’t seem too bad over time, but when you look at the big picture, the government is robbing Canadians blind.



As the Manitoba and Federal Canadian governments introduce further restrictive measures on vaping products, community action has never been more critical. The organization Rights4Vapers offers a platform for Canadian vapers to unite and express their opposition to these continuous governmental impositions. If you believe that these regulations unfairly target vapers and restrict personal freedoms without genuine public health benefits, make your voice heard. Don’t let the government think your bank account is expendable income for themselves.



Visit Rights4Vapers to find out how you can get involved, from participating in petitions to engaging with your local representatives. The site provides all the necessary resources and guidance to facilitate effective communication with policymakers. By taking action, you can help ensure that the government recognizes the importance of sensible regulations that truly benefit public health without overburdening consumers or stifling business innovation.


Canadians unite, and let’s finally tell our Government they serve us, not the other way around.


  1. lorelai lorelai

    its honestly ridiculous how Kinew and Trudeau seem to think financial issues are only experienced at Parliament Hill and not at every dinner table in the country! let me go pick up a pack of smokes and get cancer since they obviously prefer licking the boots of Cigarette companies more than protecting those they were elected by!

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