April 6, 2017 3:26 pm
Updated: May 16, 2017 6:02 pm

Angela Kokott: Like it or not, tobacco is a legal product

Merits of a menthol ban up for debate

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I’m not a smoker, although I took a few puffs on a dare during my “wild” high school years. Fortunately, I never saw the attraction of inhaling a mouthful of smoke.

No matter what my personal views of cigarettes are, I recognize they are a legal product that has been demonized for years.

We know the deadly consequences of smoking and the efforts that have been taken to keep them out of the hands of young people. Tobacco must be kept behind closed doors. It’s no longer sold in drug stores; you have to be 18 to purchase it.

READ MORE: Plain tobacco packaging one step closer to reality in Canada

LISTEN: The Canadian Cancer Society on senate consultations on vaping and tobacco packaging

Now the government is looking at forcing the industry to sell its product in plain packages. I’m sure there is plenty of research that will show a reduction in use with standardized packages, but last time I checked tobacco was a legal product.

Governments have loved collecting all the taxes generated from smokers and yet they are doing their best to prevent the industry from marketing its product.

LISTEN: Imperial tobacco on the senate consultations on vaping and tobacco packaging

I’m not a smoker. But, many people are.

If governments want to change that, it will only come through education and awareness. Trying to stifle the industry’s commercial expression is not the answer.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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