Should Canada ban Tabacco use?

by taylormcclure on February 16, 2015 - 1:34pm

The article “Government of Canada Takes Action to Protect Youth from the Dangers of Tobacco Use” written in Targeted News Service, discusses the restrictions that the Minister of Health is putting on flavoured tobacco products used by youth. Canada was the first country in the world to action on “flavoured additives” that contributed to the making of cigarettes by banning them in 2010 (Government 3). Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in Canada. It kills around 37,000 people per year. Canada also spend 4.4 billion dollars per year for health care dealing with smoking and other tobacco use(Government 3). Rona Ambrose, who is the Minister of Health, wants to ban smoking all together especially for the youth. According to the article “Canada Steps Up in Smoking Measures” written by Mark Clayton, Canada is knows as one of the toughest anti-smoking nations on earth. Canada has not only clamped down on restrictions for the use of tobacco but it has also banned cigarette advertising. The Canadian Lung Association also lends it's knowledge to understand why Canada has been so strict on the use of tobacco and smoking. According to the Canadian Lung Association, the 37,000 Canadians who die per year make up more deaths than AIDS, traffic accidents, suicide, murder, fires and accidental poisoning combined (Smoking 1). Also, even if kids don't smoke but are exposed to second hand smoke, they can still develop tobacco related diseases since second hand smoke releases the same amount of chemicals as directly smoking but in greater quantity (Smoking 1). So the question is, instead of putting all these restrictions and spending tons of money each year in health care, should Canada ban tobacco use all together?


In my opinion and it should be banned across the country. Not only is it bad for your health but it is also bad for the people around you. Putting someones life in danger for your satisfaction isn't worth it. If I were a smoking parent and I saw these statistics on smoking and second-hand smoking I would re-evaluate myself. Your childrens lives should be a priority and should not be put at risk. As Mark Clayton discusses in his article, if Canada is taking this many measures to reduce the use of tabaco, there has to be a good reason behind it. If banning tabaco reduces the amount of deaths that occur each year in Canada why not take it into consideration? We have made marijuana illegal yet cigarettes have been proven to cause more deather per year and have more of a negative impact on your health. From a utilitarian persepctive I would argue that banning cigarettes would benefit everyone concerned in this situation. If it's saving thousand of lives per year then of course it's benefiting postivily for the country but not only for the country, for the lives of those who are smoking but haven't been given a good enough reason to stop yet. Now I know many people my disagree with me on this as it is an issue that has been commonly discuess for years. An egoist might say I don't care if this hurts everyone around me I like it, it makes me happy, so I should be able to continue doing it. I would respect that because if it creates happiness for the individual, who should have the right to take that away. But if I were to argue, I would ask them this: Would you still be happy, would it all still be worth it if you found out you were the reason for your child, your family member, or your friend's lung cancer?

"Government of Canada Takes Action to Protect Youth from the Dangers of Tobacco use." Targeted News Service Sep 29 2014. ProQuest. Web. 12 Feb. 2015.


Clayton, Mark. "Canada steps up anti-smoking measures."Christian Science Monitor 17 Aug. 1995: 7. Academic Search Premier. Web. 12 Feb. 2015.


Canadian Children's Right Council. CCRC. CCRC, n.d. Web. 12 Feb. 2014.


Excellent job at getting your point across, your position on this matter is indeed a strong one. As you mentioned, your position on this issue is indeed that of a utilitarian, specifically that of an act utilitarian, as you are examining the consequences of smoking for the collective, and ultimately banning smoking would maximize everyone’s happiness, as they would no longer be affected by it such as no longer running the risk of developing lung cancer or watching others they know and love dying from such a disease. By what you are stating as an act utilitarian, you seem to be following Bentham’s principle of utility, which basically states that consequences do indeed matter, as actions that promote happiness/pleasure are indeed moral and actions that promote unhappiness/pain are therefore immoral.

I really liked the research you did and the statistics that you put forward in this post. I could not agree more with your position on this topic. Smoking is a practice that is harmful for the person who is doing it, along with the people around them who do not smoke, but are still exposed to the second hand fumes. Even though smoking is banned in many public places these days, you are still exposed to it whether you like it or not, just from walking around busy areas. Canada’s Medicare system is currently paying billions to help people recover from illnesses that have been caused by smoking. The harmful health effects from smoking have been known for years now, and some people still choose to do it. Even though it’s an industry that the government makes tones of money from by highly taxing cigarettes, I do not think it is worth the revenue that they generate from it to allow it to keep going on. Finally, to clarify one of your points, marijuana is illegal because of the impairment and potential mental issues that it can cause, while smoking is more of an addiction to nicotine, which helps relieve stress. But other than that, your article was very well done!

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