hi-keith-peterson-nunavut-budget

Nunavut Finance Minister Keith Peterson says the territory expects to take in more than $16 million in territorial tobacco taxes this fiscal year and $12.5 million in corporate tax revenue.

It's unfortunate the territory collects more in tobacco taxes than in corporate income taxes, says Nunavut Finance Minister Keith Peterson.

The territory expects to take in more than $16 million in territorial tobacco taxes this fiscal year, while the corporate tax is expected to bring in $12.5 million in revenue.

Peterson says that translates to a lot of cigarettes.

"I was just asking someone the other day if they knew how many cigarettes the 34,000 people in Nunavut smoke [a year]," he said in the Nunavut Legislative Assembly yesterday.

"They thought 1.5 million cigarettes. In fact it's 66 million cigarettes."

Nunavut has the highest smoking rate in the country. More than 60 per cent of people in Nunavut use tobacco — about three times higher than the average for the rest of Canada.