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June 2, 2015

Open Letter To Prime Minister Stephen Harper - Smoking in Canada

Open Letter To Prime Minister Stephen Harper:

Want to be remembered as doing something good for the benefit of the health of all Canadians? Make smoking illegal.

It doesn't matter what people are smoking, whether it be tobacco, marijuana or crack cocaine - they are all known to be harmful to the health of Canadians. Recent lawsuits in Quebec, Ontario and other provinces have already proven this, as do thousands of scientific studies.

You could save the Canadian healthcare system billions of dollars simply by making all smoking products illegal - and simultaneously put a stop to the legalize marijuana movement. Which you already don't like anyway, so that would boost your agenda there.

However you don't want to burden the prison system with thousands of people arrested for smoking, so the trick is to change it to a fine when people are caught smoking - and a hefty fine for people selling any kind of substance meant for smoking.

The current laws really only target possession of marijuana and people smoking tobacco in public places. By banning all smoking entirely you could put a stop to the proliferation of many different kinds of cancer across Canada. Cancer that is costing our health care system billions and slowing down wait times for important medical treatments.

Banning smoking is not a complete solution however. You will also need to enforce non-smoking laws. At present many people shirk or ignore many anti-smoking laws and police don't bother to enforce those laws. Incentives need to be made to get police to start enforcing those laws instead of ignoring what they normally consider to be a petty crime. Easiest way to do this would be to have drug task forces assigned to also monitor public places and hand out fines to people caught smoking. This would actually make the government money as a result.

This will inherently make smoking tobacco a practice people do at home or in complete privacy, but the shortage of tobacco and what will doubtlessly be much higher black market prices will force many tobacco smokers to quit simply because they cannot afford the expensive habit.

The medical marijuana movement isn't going to go away, but enforcing a Canada wide ban on recreational smoking will benefit hundreds of thousands of Canadians by preventing a wide variety of cancers.

And while the Conservative Party will get hurt temporarily in polls by people who love smoking tobacco, once they have quit you will see a boost in the polls. Plus you should see a boost in the polls from anyone who dislikes smokers. So it is a short term win, with a long term win-win.

Justin Trudeau might want to legalize marijuana but he won't want to align himself with the tobacco lobby.

This is a smart choice for Canadians both in terms of health and saving Canada's health care system money. Plus it is a smart move politically because it forces Trudeau to ask himself if he wants ally himself with Big Tobacco.

If you make the next election's big issue the banning of tobacco products you could potentially win another majority.

If you don't find a big way to unite Canadians you are going to lose and lose big. At present the polls show you are going to lose the next election, either to the Liberals or to NDP. One or the other it won't matter if you end up coming in third.

But if you make banning tobacco smoking a campaign promise it will divide the electorate in such a way that will be unexpected, giving you a huge boost in the polls. The question is whether you have the gumption to take on Big Tobacco or whether you are a coward who is afraid to do anything so daring.


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