Should Canada put even more graphic warning labels on its cigarettes?
Smokers get a raw deal, there may be no debate in that.
They get pushed out in the cold, often stink like Hell and, thanks to recent regulations, get taxed up the butt – pun intended.
For the latter, though, who can be surprised? In a nation where health care is largely supported by the Canadian taxpayer, how could we not levy higher penalties on smokers, a demographic that, for all the “But my grandpa smoked his entire life and he lived 'til 95!” stories, will likely require more medical attention than the average Canuck?
Still, in the U.S. at least, the above doesn’t appear to be enough. On the heels of America’s recent bid to socialize its health care system, the FDA’s Department of Health and Human Services has just proposed new, more graphic warning labels be put on all cigarette packages (see accompanying pics).
To which begs the obvious question: should Canada do the same?
Cigarette packs sold in Canada already boast some pretty nasty warning labels. You know the ones – the gross “mouth disease” one, the depressing “tobacco smoke can hurt your baby” one and, perhaps most potent, the to-the-point “limp cigarette, ‘cause this is what smoking will do to your man parts” one.
Yet since 2000, when the more extreme cigarette labels were first put on Canadian packs, it’d be tough to say they haven’t done their job.
According to Health Canada, 24 per cent of the 15-and-over Canadian population were smokers at the turn of the century. In 2009, nine years after the labels were put on packs and cartons, that number had dipped to 18 per cent.
Now, whether you believe such a decrease is just a sign of the times, or the result of the graphic cigarette labels, should preface your answer to the following question:
Should Canada consider placing even more obscene deterrent labels on the packs of the cigarettes it sells?
By Jason Buckland, MSN Money
(*Images courtesy: FDA)
Posted by: Bev | Nov 10, 2021 5:22:51 PM
Pictures on cigarette packages and raising the price will not stop people from smoking. You have to take it for what it is, an "addiction". The government has known for years that kicking cigarettes is harder then kicking heroin. Their answer is to raise the prices. This is the same government who has known for more then 40 years how addictive cigarettes are and have not banned the cigarette companies from adding more poisons to make them more addictive. Why? This is the biggest cash cow they have ever come up with. When it costs less then a dollar to manufacture a pack of cigarettes, that's a lot of money lining their coffers. I for one feel sorry for all those people who are addicted and want to quit. It is not an easy thing to do.
Posted by: Melissa | Nov 10, 2021 5:24:00 PM
Do people really truly believe that smokers have no idea that smoking is terrible for you? As a former smoker, I was fully aware of the fact that it is unhealthy, stinky, unattractive, etc. Regardless, I continued to smoke (despite all of the pack warnings - believe it or not) and here's why. BECAUSE I WAS ADDICTED. Quitting smoking is difficult. It took me 10 attempts for it to finally stick. The worst part... I still have to decide every day to quit. Rather than the government sinking more effort into advertising on packages that doesn't even get noticed, that same money could either be put back into healthcare or given to aid people who want to quit to get help.
Seriously... ban it? That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of. I wasn't around for prohibition, but clearly that wasn't too effective at stopping drinking. We live in a free country, people's habits are their personal choice. If you seriously think that 'banning smoking' is a viable option, I would recommend seeking a nice dictatorship to live under.
My third, and final, point is that while you hear loads on how much smokers cost the health care system (and I am not arguing that this isn't truth), fat people never seem to recognize how much they cost the healthcare system. Obesity causes heart disease, strokes, type II diabetes, types of cancer, fatty liver disease, galbladder disease, deep vein thrombosis, and arthritis (to name a few.) I cannot tell you how many obese people felt justified in approaching me while I was smoking (outside and within the appropriate area - also generally downwind of any children or non-smokers) to share with me the health risks of my behaviour. When I shared with them the health risks of their behaviour, it was not well received. So... if the government wants to tax cigarettes due to the cost to the health care system, that's fair. But lets also tax something else that is contributing to increased health care costs.
Posted by: Lisa | Nov 10, 2021 5:28:08 PM
Seriously people? Smoking? Again I am a Smoker started at nine I'm now almost 27. Come on I know the health risks, I have morals too, I dont smoke inside #1 I have kids, #2 My husband quit, # 3 my father in law quit all of whom live with me. I freeze my buns off in the the winter iget rained on in the spring and fall. now I also dont smoke around those who are allergic. But I can stand in line for face painting at Stanley Park have me and my daughter get spat on because some lady saw me smoking down wind then join my then 5 year old in line, she had the odasssity to spit on my daughter then when I asked her to watch where she spat she turned around at spat in my face at christmas no less, have drunks doin what they do best and embarrass themselves, for eg. peeing in public, the rude and vulgar comments we get subjected to the language we have to hear. the fights that break out from drunks. The runners complain that smokers are hurting them as they run past but they dont complain about the pollutatants form the cars as they run down and thru traffic in and around stanley park. We litter ok put in ashtrays , or be like me and put it out in water then dispose of it in a trash can. We dont have the same rights as everyone else we have to go get cold and wet and sick but fat people can buy Mc Donalds?? What about complaining about how there are no decent role models for our children. What about the falling standards of our public schools? Come on redirect it somewhere else kids are smarter now and know we are killing ourselves by smoking those of us who do some should be left to die in our coughing hacking way if we so shall choose just like people choose to die from obessity.
Posted by: sj | Nov 10, 2021 5:30:21 PM
I used to make a big-deal about the smokers...now I am all for it...just think of the fewer people I will have to deal with in everyday life. Too many people in my way. Population control at its finest!! Go ahead...light another...drink some more fluoridated water to wash that aweful taste down too. It will get you eventually... please just don't listen to the nay sayers. You are one smoke away from being planted. Thank you for deciding to take up the habit.
Posted by: doug | Nov 10, 2021 5:40:00 PM
You smoke you die early, you are obese you do the same, drink too much, good luck! Let's all exercise, eat well and enjoy life for what it is. Love you all.
Posted by: mouthymother | Nov 10, 2021 5:42:19 PM
r we all forgetting that smokers are also taxpayers, and forget the smokers, you don't need a butt sticking outa your mouth to get cancer...HELLO. do ya all think we're livin on a pollution free planet. If u want cancer just go outside and take a few deep breaths or better yet eat some nice delicious contaminated vegetables or hey take a drink of water ! Please people, if some people get enjoyment from something, why do we need these hypocrites walking around thinkin their so much better than everyone, hey ?? live and let live, really
Posted by: marie | Nov 10, 2021 5:46:07 PM
although putting graphic pictures may be helpful, i believe the reason the numbers dipped could possibly be because there are more stores ID'ing underage buyers. that's where the real problem. my underage daughter was buying her cigarettes from a local store when she was 14, so maybe there should be more onus on the vendors.
Posted by: Tim | Nov 10, 2021 5:50:29 PM
it is a great thing to have labels on cig packs. I recently quit smoking 21 days ago :D, i use to use inhalers 3-4 times a day now after only 21 days of being smoke free i do not even use an inhaler and i feel great. I had smoked for 6 years and thought it would be a lot harder to quit but its not, you just have to stop making excuses and just quit i did it cold turkey and i had thought i would never be able to.
Posted by: Tired Of Anti Smoking Whiners | Nov 10, 2021 5:51:27 PM
Put all the gross graphics on the packages you want. The pack could be black with a big white skull and crossbones on it and labelled "Death" and people will still buy them and smoke them (paraphrasing from a Dennis Leary sketch). I am so tired of the anti smokers and their "holier than thou" attitudes. Last time I checked smokes were a legal product in Canada. lloyd is right, the government will never ban smokes outright because they will lose all that tax money....but then they could always try taxing everybody else...hey, that way they could get even MORE money. Ah, but wait, what would the anti smoking nazis do then...what would these perfect people do....attack and demonize all the fat people, the drunks, the druggies....Another thing about banning smokes all together. It would never work, they tried that with booze before (prohibition). When prices for cigarettes went through the roof the black market and the natives flourished. It is an addiction...if the government really wants people to quit they should spend some of that tax money they rake in from smokers and fund free cessation products for those interested in quitting. Ann was right when she said many people can't afford it. One last thing, when someone tells me what to do...that is the very LAST thing I want to do. So, to all you anti smokers out there, when I hear more of your poo pooing about smoking it just makes me pick up my pack and light one up.
Posted by: Gini | Nov 10, 2021 6:03:00 PM
I cannot believe all this drama over smokers. I'm a smoker, not proud but I am, and I can't believe I am actually leaving a comment in this debate. I know smoking is BAD, and I know it will probably kill me one day, and YES I also have children whom I would kill if they ever lit up. Kids out there DO NOT START, and to the adults, honestly do you actually believe all this BS? What happened to live and let live, everyone should do and say what is right for them in their own home, STOP, trying to control everyone else's life. The first viceless person, please throw the first rock.....HONESTLY! No more comments, it's just a vicious circle that never ends. There are sooooo many more addictions out there besides smoking, that are beyond our imagination, and yet I don't see anyone else being tagged, or attacked, or being banned from their rights. If anything we have not argued nor caused any scenes while we step outside to take a puff. We stand in our corner alone and content, polluting our own lungs, what's the problem again....oh yes pictures...save your money for education, the hungry, homeless, sick, abused and molested children of the world. The REAL BIG PROBLEMS!
Posted by: debbie | Nov 10, 2021 6:04:38 PM
I'm a smoker & let me tell you its hard to quite. I just keep saying why don't they just stop selling the dam things.
Posted by: Been there | Nov 10, 2021 6:04:56 PM
All the pics in the world won't work, a smoker already knows the risks and ignores them. I did for 35 years. I quit because I wanted to and did it without any of the so called quit smoking aids, which are also designed to keep people smoking. As for health costs smokers pay a large portion of taxes and when we punish them by stripping them of health rights or making medical procedures harder to access because they smoke we are starting down a slippery slope, who do we single out next, drinkers, the obese, or maybe just the elderly as they are past their prime anyway and much to expensive to keep around, I wonder who of us wants to play God and be the one to choose, not me, I give thanks the Lord gave me the strength to quit and I will leave those decisions to him.
Posted by: Sheri | Nov 10, 2021 6:06:07 PM
I agree with most of you, using more disturbing pictures are not going to prevent people from smoking. Other more effective methods should be utilized... kids needs to be taught the consequences and facts of smoking so they don't get hooked at such a young age and also since we are off topic... drinking and indulging in unhealthy foods.
Posted by: xSmoker | Nov 10, 2021 6:06:30 PM
I smoked for 39 years and quit 18 months ago. I am now 54 years old and very seldom ever went to the doctor. I know a lot of people who go to the doctors and emergency departments because they have the sniffles, or a headache or a sore stomach etc. etc. etc. I wonder how much that costs? There are people with illness due to the foods they eat, the lack of exercise, stress etc. etc. I am more worried about the chemicals in our food, in the air and in our products than I am about a person who chooses to smoke. I wonder why/how so many non smokers get sick and seriusly ill?
Posted by: Mike Cheliak | Nov 10, 2021 6:06:47 PM
Until Governments start taking the banning of tobacco seriously,none of this matters. There is too much money involved. Just like alcohol and oil. Where there is smoke, there is fire. The smoke happens to be the money involved.
Smoking kills you. PERIOD. Anyone stupid enough not to know this has their head in a cloud of smoke. It is an addictive drug and should be banned. Those who smoke should forfeit their health care rights and be put to the bottom of the list for any treatment.
Posted by: Colin | Nov 10, 2021 6:15:02 PM
Smoking is bad i am a air quality specialist and see the toxins released from the smokes, for anyone you no with asthma allergies or any breathing problems or who got pets or especially who smokes in there home call me Colin Brown Healthy Home expert with aerus for a free air quality test call506- 380-7694
Posted by: ban it forever | Nov 10, 2021 6:20:56 PM
I agree, JUST BAN IT!!
Posted by: Rob | Nov 10, 2021 6:21:56 PM
"A smoker will still smoke". Right! an idiot is always an idiot no matter what.
Posted by: Mary | Nov 10, 2021 6:27:20 PM
I think they should leave all the labels alone. I am a smoker and have been trying desperately to quit for the past 10 years-I don't like going outside to smoke.People do not die of lung cancer, they die of quilt because they won't tell the doctor their chest hurts if they smoke because they feel too quilty because of all the labels and warning. When I started smokiing it was cool, we have the Marboro man and when everyone else was taking drugs and smoking, I was afraid of the drugs so I smoke, now I am the one that is hooked. All the warnings do is make a person feel quilty and bad about themselves, whick does not help you to quit smoking when you have poor self-esteem. I think the whole world is aware that smoking is bad for and I know lots of seniors 80+ who smoke and are relatively healthy.
When are they going to put all these warnings on alcohol? The drinkers get off easy! In recent studies in Europe and Australia they have found that among all the additive substances in the word legal and illegal, alcohol was the worst. Not only because of drunk drivers but also because it breaks up familes, causes abuse, cause death from cars and othe violence. The studies showed that overall it was the worst. So tell me what you would think if you saw a picture of a child with black eyes and a broken arm on the front of your next beer can or bottle of wine? Just food for thought!
Posted by: joe | Nov 10, 2021 6:27:26 PM
Blah Blah Blah, bring on graphic pics, the last ones had no affect and others won't either. Big City liberals trying to create fear. NO I don't smoke, all I'm saying is it doesn't work! Smuggled smokes are just $18-$20 per carton compared to $80 + at the store.