The CBC informed us that the cigarettes were being "pulled from the shelves". Also, they mentioned that tobacco manufacturers were skirting the ban...
|(Asthma never tasted so good)|
Bill C-32 requires that cigarillos less than 1.4 grams cannot be flavoured or sold in packages of less than 20 units. Since the law doesn't affect cigars more than 1.4 grams, tobacco companies quickly took advantage of the loophole and put cigars weighing just over the required minimum weight on the market.
Currently, the smoking rate is holding steady despite various initiatives at various levels of governments. Here's what we do know:
Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq doesn't care about preventable deaths.
From the Globe and Mail:
- Health Canada is simply not investing adequately in tobacco control. Over the past five years, it has routinely underspent its program budget by $9-million to $15-million annually.
- Investment in mass-media campaigns has dried up; the initial plan was to spend $50-million a year on social marketing, but Health Canada spent $27-million in 2001, falling to $9-million by 2004, then nothing in recent years.
- Smoking rates are highest in aboriginal communities, yet Ottawa inexplicably cancelled the first nations and Inuit tobacco control strategy and replaced it with a few small projects.
- Health Canada’s tobacco control directorate has been markedly downsized.
- Ottawa has spent hundreds of millions on tobacco-crop buyouts, an approach deemed counterproductive as tobacco production has actually increased.
- The federal government has settled lawsuits with tobacco companies for paltry amounts, and no criminal charges have been laid.
- There is a burdensome bureaucracy that makes it difficult for non-profit groups working in tobacco control to get funding. In fact, many anti-tobacco initiatives have ground to a halt because groups have lost their funding – at least temporarily – with the expiry of the strategy.
The Coalition québécoise pour le contrôle du tabac (CQCT) did some home testing and found that 48,7% of the cigarillos tested were under 1.4 grams. There's been a solution offered by NDP MP Megan Leslie in the 40th Parliament to ban flavoured tobacco.
It's only fitting that the Minister of Health would focus on adding restrictions to medical marijuana but doesn't move on cigarettes that target teens. Any actions against tobacco companies comes from municipal and provincial governments while the Harper Government looks to lock up every pot head in the country.
They do know that tobacco is worse than marijuana, right?
Of course, expecting their ideology to change according to the facts is apparently asking too much.