The B.C. government will soon charge HST on various types of medical and health products. Over-the-counter medications, vitamins and supplements will be affected by the HST, which comes into effect July 1.

The HST will apply to other health-related products such as fitness memberships, massages, bicycles, safety helmets, first aid kits and smoke detectors.

Products intended to help people quit smoking will cost seven per cent more thanks to the HST. On Wednesday, the Canadian Cancer Society released statistics that showed lung cancer rates in B.C. had increased.

"It's one more example where the government says they're going to do one thing and does just the opposite and penalizes people for good behaviour," said NDP leader Carole James.

With B.C. health care costs at nearly $16 billion and climbing, Finance Minister Colin Hansen had a tough time defending price increases for preventative medicine.

"We recognize that some families will be paying more on certain things," said Hansen.

Health products are one of many to be affected by the HST.

Last Friday, the B.C. government released what it said was a complete list of items affected by the HST. That list included things like veterinary bills, dry cleaning, and snack foods.

The HST will also be applied to parking, giving Vancouver the highest parking tax rate in North America.

With a report from CTV British Columbia's Jim Beatty