The Prime Minister has reminded us that it is non-smoking week from January 15th through the 21st. Here is his statement.
Quote... “Every year smoking adversely impacts the health of millions of Canadians – including those affected by second-hand smoke – heightening their risk of cancer, heart disease, emphysema and a number of other conditions. It also costs our health care system – and therefore taxpayers – a substantial amount of money.
“However, through initiatives such as National Non-Smoking Week, stronger labelling and distribution regulations, a Canada-wide toll-free quit line number and information website, and efforts to combat contraband tobacco, our Government is helping to reduce the smoking rate across the country – especially among youth.
“Despite this positive trend, we recognize that the number of people smoking in our country is still too high, which is why we are continuing our efforts in 2012 to help bring it down further.
“I encourage all Canadians who smoke to make a resolution to quit the habit both for themselves and for their loved ones.” _Unquote.
This comes on the heels that his government will keep their promise to reduce spending on health care. This will require the provinces to pick up where the Harper Government falls short.
If the Harper government is truly concerned over tobacco then ban the product or at least assist people to quit smoking with something more than a toll-free quit line. Retailers of tobacco claim they make very little out of selling tobacco products. Then quit selling tobacco and support the move to reduce smoking. Market all tobacco products out of the existing liquor outlets and especially those operated by the government. Alcohol products are supplied in designer bottles and snazzy containers and the artistic displays in liquor stores are impressive. There are no disgusting photos of an auto accident on a liquor bottle. Tobacco on the other hand has a photo on the package that is disgusting. That is why the product is hidden behind a cheap shower curtain or hinged doors in gas stations and other outlets. Then it is argued that they are kept out of site so no one is tempted to take up the habit. What sense does this make and why the difference between alcohol and tobacco. They are both addictive and neither is good for your health. It is fine to be a social drinker, but you can not be a social smoker. Alcohol is socially accepted and tobacco is not.
People using liquor and tobacco could make use of off-sale outlets and drive through locations to pick up liquor or tobacco. It seems odd that you are old enough to drive a vehicle at 16 and go to war and die for your country at 18, but in most provinces in Canada you can not consume alcohol until 19 or sell tobacco products to a minor.
There is a lot of talk about the terrible consequences of smoking. There is very little talk about the consequences of using alcohol and even less talk about the consequences of drug abuse.
Maybe it is time to have the government introduce mandatory periodic drug testing in our schools, universities, technical schools, like SIAST, and other educational institutions. Why should taxpayers fund students going to school while intoxicated with illegal drugs?
Each year when the government announces anti-smoking week they should also announce how much revenue they raked in through the sale of tobacco.
Why not introduce an anti-fat week to address the problem of obesity. Is that not a health issue as well? Being over weight is not healthy and it too must be a burden on our health care system. What is the government doing about that? Is it time for the government to introduce regulations prohibiting food outlets from marketing unhealthy foods? Is it time for the government to be more involved in healthy lifestyles as a means of reducing the cost on our health care system.
Now do not blame me for all this. It was the government under pressure from various non-government agencies and lobbies that got us into this mess. Hence all the anti-smoking regulations.
Years ago many of my elders used to smoke cigarettes, cigars and pipes, chew tobacco and stuff it up their nose, hang out in smoke filled facilities like curling rinks, ate fatty foods like eggs fried in pork fat and were never involved in all the exercise programs currently available. They never knew terms like saturated and unsaturated fats and likely never ever heard of Yoga. Regardless, they lived long lives with few exceptions. What is up with that?
Well, that is all I have to say for now. I have to go and have my oatmeal porridge sweetened with real Maple Syrup washed down with a coffee sweetened with artificial sweetener. Then it will be time for my Siberian Husky to take me outside for exercise on a cold January day. I may even have a cigarette if there is no one within a hundred yards of me and feel good that I am helping to fund my government to tell me I am costing them money by smoking.
Please do not get too fussed over this blog post and Have a Great Life. You may live longer than you think unless you die of stress by thinking about all this too much!