Federal Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq has recently faced allegations that she and her ministry have buckled to pressure from “Big Tobacco” when it comes to the issue of bigger warnings labels on tobacco products.
I don’t believe that changing warning labels on tobacco will make any significant difference. Smokers are not going to quit smoking because of some sudden realization that the use of tobacco is harmful – or at best, not good for a person’s health.
IT’S TIME TO MAKE TOBACCO AN ILLEGAL PRODUCT IN CANADA.
Now, I hear the deafening outcry from those of you who enjoy your habit. I’m listening! Here’s what I propose.
Along with making tobacco use illegal in Canada, there should be a “not withstanding” clause which permits present smokers who are of age to continue smoking. Yes, I would prefer an outright ban on tobacco, but I am willing to compromise. I don’t know what it’s like to be hooked on tobacco, but I do face an “addiction” of my own. Food. So, I have some sympathy.
For a number of years, I have asked smokers what they think of the idea of phasing out the use of tobacco in Canada. I have suggested that as of the day of passing of legislation making tobacco illegal, all those persons who have not yet attained the age of 18 be denied the “privilege” of smoking.
Reaction to my proposal by smokers has been mixed. Many, if not most, agree with the idea – as long as they are permitted to continue smoking. Many smokers have told me they wish they had never started. They wish they could quit. They don’t want their children to start smoking. They have better places they could put their money.
But, there are some smokers, who for reasons I don’t understand, go into this big rant about infringing on their “right” to smoke a legal product. They simply don’t get the idea that I’m not out to take away that so called “right.”
Now, I don’t think that in reality, any such “right” is justified. I consider myself a libertarian. As such, I believe a person has an absolute right to live life as they see fit PROVIDED THAT IN DOING SO THEY DON’T INFRINGE ON THE EQUAL RIGHT OF OTHERS TO DO LIKEWISE.
So, if you want to chew on tobacco – go right ahead. Any health risk there may be is all your own. If you want to make yourself a pan of brownies and add some pot – God bless you. I have no objection as long as you don’t operate a motor vehicle while under the influence. What you read is your own business. What you do in the confines of your own house with consenting adults is none of my business. Eat as many cholesterol filled foods as you like. I don’t think it’s a good idea – but it’s primarily to your own detriment if you do so. Your family may not be happy if you suddenly drop dead, but they will probably learn to get along without you. Live life as you see fit AS LONG AS IN DOING SO YOU DON’T FORCE OTHERS TO BE PART OF IT.
SMOKERS INFRINGE ON MY RIGHT TO BREATHE CLEAN AIR. It pollutes the environment. I work as a courier, so I’m on the road all the time. When the windows are rolled down in the summer (my air conditioning is broke), I can detect the odour of tobacco from the vehicle in front or behind me – depending on wind direction. And I object. IT IS MY UNDENIABLE RIGHT TO NOT BE FORCED TO INHALE SECOND HAND SMOKE. So, any argument that smokers have rights is crap. None-the-less, I am not going to object to current, of age, smokers being allowed ot continue. I just want to be able to look forward to a future where tobacco is not permitted. That is absolutely fair.
Not too long ago, various governments have launched huge lawsuits against the big tobacco companies to recover the extra cost of healthcare because of tobacco use. Any government who does so are absolute hypocrites. Especially since they continue to permit smoking to continue.
I wonder what the outcome might be if non-smokers were to launch a class action lawsuit against various governments for permitting the use of tobacco to continue knowing as they do that tobacco is harmful to more than those who smoke.
Recently I spoke with several persons who told me how vigorously they objected when smoking was no longer permitted inside public buildings. To my absolute surprise, they told me they have changed their mind and that it was the right thing to do.
Phasing out tobacco use in Canada is the right thing to do.