Ahh, sweet addiction! I swear, if cigarettes were illegal, I wouldn’t smoke them. I mean, I enjoy smoking when I’m having a few beer but I don’t light up as soon as I open my eyes in the morning. I can go days without one but sometimes, if there’s someone around with smokes and they keep smoking them, sooner or later, whether I have a drink in me or not, I’m gonna want one. And I’m gonna have one.
Of course, by now, we all know the tune: “Smoking makes your teeth yellow, Smoking makes your clothes smello”. We’ve all seen the trading cards: “Cigarettes cause strokes and heart disease”, “Cigarettes are addictive”, “Smoking during pregnancy can harm your unborn baby”, “Smoking causes fatal lung disease in non-smokers”. And have you heard the latest numbers on how many Canadians die every year from smoking-related ailments. What about the effects of second-hand smoke?
By all reports, cigarettes kill people. Cough! Hack, Hack!! Cough! So the right honourable Dave Dingwall, Minister of Health and native Cape Bretoner (thanks for the Christmas card, by the way), has introduced a new tobacco law, further limiting advertising, raising taxes, and making a move on sponsorship of sporting events and the arts. But they kill people, Dave. People die because they smoke and the people around them get sick because of it. Increasing taxes just means that cigarettes are gonna cost more and the government will make a little more money off them. It doesn’t mean people are gonna stop using them. If you wanna get rid of smoking, make the sale of cigarettes illegal. Treat nicotine addicts as some countries treat Heroin addicts, by prescription. The only real problem with a plan that includes the criminalization of nicotine is how much money tobacco companies make and invest into sporting events, the arts, and the economy. And how about all the tobacco industry people who would be out of work? What will they do? I have an idea. Let’s plant hemp. Just give the tobacco farmers new seeds. I mean, they’re farmers, they don’t care what they plant. Hemp can make life on this planet healthier. And if we plant it here in Cape Breton, we can start to improve our economy while greening our increasingly-polluted environment.