Canada has one of the world’s toughest antismoking campaign.
They have passed laws against tobacco advertising and have used
virtually all of the Presidents proposals against tobacco.
Now they are saying that if Clinton’s proposals do become a
law it won’t do much good.
By 1993 the tobacco taxes in Canada had a pack of cigarettes
up to $5.00 a pack . Thanks to these measures, Garfield Mahood,
Executive Director of the Toronto based Non-Smokers Rights
Association., said, ” Canada has had world precedent-setting
declines in teen smoking.” Between 1979 and 1989, the number of
teens aged 15 to 19 who smoked at least occasionally was halved
to 23%. In contrast U.S. efforts have been a huge
disappointment. Some 30% of high school seniors smoked through
the 80’s and now there is an alarming increase.
Clinton’s program doesn’t include a stiff tax increase and
experts say that is where Canada’s progress stemmed from.
The big disappointment is kids have smoked more since the
Federal and Provincial Governments slashed cigarette taxes in
early 1994 to combat a flood of cheap smokes smuggled in from the
U.S. A pack of 25 now sells for around $2.50 in Ontario, down
almost 44% from 1993. Now, a University of Toronto survey found
a third of Junior High School are puffing more. Moreover the
number of teens smoke occasionally jumped to 27.8% in 1994 from
22% in 1991.
Clinton’s program includes Prohibition of sales to minors.
Canada has found such bans are useless because 59% of Ontario’s
smoking minors still bought their smokes from a store. One of
the bad things about prohibiting tobacco advertising reduced
marketing costs, causing tobacco industries to earn “phenomenal
profits”. At Imperial Tobacco which controls 65% of the Canadian
market, operating profits have doubled since 1988.
No wonder Clinton’s proposal probably won’t work. Kids
don’t pay attention to their health. They do pay attention to
their wallet. That’s why the American Cancer Society and over
100 other health groups are lobbying a $2.00 per-pack tax
increase. This leads to Canada suggesting Clinton’s proposal
could have room for improvement.