Vintage Voice

Each May 31 marks World No Tobacco Day, established by the World Health Organization in 1988.  A quick squint in the archives drew forth this pair of articles.

Money trumps public health.  Wayne E. Benedict, a reformed smoker, is angry.  “I am angry at the shear strength of the tobacco addiction that maintains its hold on thousands of its victims unto death. I am angry at the tobacco corporations that continue to manufacture and distribute a deadly product in the face of overwhelming empirical evidence of its destructive nature. And I am angry at the provincial and federal governments for enabling the continued sale of tobacco products throughout our society; and for reaping enormous tax benefits from the sale of products that cost our Country dearly in resources as well as lives.”  Tobacco, January 14, 2004.

Addicted to tax revenue.  Debbie Jabbour ,outlines the uses and abuses of cigarette taxes.  “Another oddity to the whole situation is that the government relies heavily on tobacco taxes to fund many projects, including anti-smoking incentives. Reducing numbers of smokers could then be seen as having a rebound effect in tax hikes occurring elsewhere to make up the shortfall.”  From My Perspective – Smoking, April 3, 2002.