Volume 93, Issue 64

Tuesday, January 25, 2000


Fraternity friendship at what cost?

What's in the water at Brescia?

Smokers unite - fight the power

Smokers, shut up - no need to whine!

Smokers, shut up - no need to whine!

There's been a lot of huffing and puffing about Health Minister Allan Rock's recent announcement that cigarette packages will soon depict pictures of smoking related diseases, including cancerous livers, hearts and even mouths.

The new anti-smoking campaign was initiated with hopes of making smokers realize the effects of their addiction. It seems, however, that smokers who are taking offence to this campaign are just looking for a reason to piss in someone's Cornflakes.

Since the present day warnings found on cigarettes seem to have lost their ability to make an impact, it only makes sense that the government would upgrade their attempts to inform smokers about the negative effects of their habits – not only to themselves, but to the people around them.

There's nothing new about this kind of "shock therapy" approach, as the pictures will soon accompany the old written warnings to which we've become accustomed. Sure, the packages will be graphic. And yes, the pictures may be gross. But really, in the grand scheme of things, who cares? After a bit of thought, anyone can see that only good things can come from the campaign.

Let's start with the rights of the smoker. As a smoker, I'll still be able to do all the things I can with the present day packaging – for instance, smoke the cigarettes. The new campaign is in no way stopping me from lighting up, therefore it is not infringing upon my rights. The cost of cigarettes aren't increasing as a result of the campaign, so we can't complain about prices. And the places in which we are "allowed" to smoke aren't changing either.

Perhaps the most annoying aspect about the new packages is the fact that the pictures are so repulsive, smokers will have to put the package away after pulling out a dart. After all, who wants a cancerous throat sitting on the table while dessert's being served?

The only effect these nasty images may have on smokers is getting them to quit – and that's exactly what Health Canada is aiming for. Ask anyone who lights up and they'll probably tell you they know smoking is bad. They'll probably also tell you they either want to quit or plan to in the future.

And what's wrong with that? Lets see, we'd be saving anywhere from $30 to $40 a month, we'd all start feeling better about ourselves and likely, we'll all be able to walk up a flight of stairs without passing out.

So, if a few grotesque pictures will help jump start some people into quitting, while not infringing upon their right to smoke – what's all the whining and wheezing about?

Maybe some smokers are just blowing smoke up the rest of our asses.

To Contact The Opinions Department:

Copyright The Gazette 2000