Voices: Cigarette display ban

We asked you whether you think covering up cigarette displays will make smoking less appealing to young people. Here's what you had to say.

We asked you whether you think covering up cigarette displays will make smoking less appealing to young people. Here's what you had to say. Hiding Cigarettes puts health first? How about putting solar panels on every grid-tied roof in the province so we can finally close down our coal fiRed power plants? How about banning idling, no matter the weather, and enforcing said ban? How about legislated minimum auto fuel efficiencies and maximum tail pipe emissions? How about aggressive rewards (for cleaning up) and punishments (for spewing with abandon) for the big polluters in big business? Justin Sutton, Toronto I don't know how anyone could consider choking on toxic smoke to be appealing. But if we want to hide smoking, shouldn't we also ban TV shows and movies from showing people smoking? Chris Just, Toronto Is there any end in sight to the liberal desire to control and censor everything in our lives? We are not sheep and are quite capable of deciding what to buy whether it pleases Dalton and gang or not. They were not elected to impose their lifestyle decisions on anyone with the exception of those things that may infringe on the rights of others. James McEwen, Belleville, Ont. There's an old saying "out of sight, out of mind", the inverse of which forms the basis for advertising. With tobacco ads banned, smokers kept out of public spaces and Cigarettes not on display, smoking is very likely to decline. Problems still remain however. Too many Hollywood movies still feature heroes who smoke. And the same holds for video games and animes. These combine to give smoking an aura of "cool" among impressionable youth. This is the hardest thing to fight. Gary Dale, Toronto No. Stop providing the product if you want to end smoking. Young people will continue to smoke regardless of a visual display counter or not. I smoke by the way. Moshe Warner, Toronto It is not necessarily our children who will benefit from this decision. It is their children and grand children that will no doubt live a longer and healthier life. Douglas Dunn, Minesing, Ont. As a non-smoker, let me say I think smokers are the singularly most persecuted group in the country today. To paraphrase Mr. McGuinty, science indicates that power walls make kids smoke. That sounds like marketing science, which, as someone who works in marketing, let me tell you, is bunk. At what point to adults get treated like adults? Enough already. Don't we live in a free society? All the government does is hurt people and businesses. Ryan Lalonde, Peterborough, Ont. Why is the government wasting tax-payers’ dollars on all these "stop smoking" issues? And why are they "forcing" shop keepers to comply with ridiculous rules and laws? Yes, smoking causes health issues but if parents did their jobs educating their children then so be it. What ever happened to the right to choose? I really think that this so call "free world" in which we live is turning into a dictatorship. If young kids want to smoke, they will find a way to do so. Kevin McKeen, Austin, Texas. Here in B.C. smoking was recently banned in pubs and bars. The power walls are gone and pRedictably, there was all kinds of whining and complaining, mostly by the owners over how they would lose business because their die-hard patrons couldn't smoke inside. They had to go outside if they wanted to light up. Last Saturday, I visited one of our communities most outspoken, most vocal, pro-smoking establishments. The place was full of non-smokers. I couldn't find a table, and was forced to grab the last stool at the bar. Non-smokers who are now in the majority and who hated the stink of old Cigarettes and the blue air pollution are flocking back to the pubs and bars in droves. Richard French, Nanaimo, B.C. I do not think it will make a bit of difference. If this government is truly so concerned about health issues, it would very simply ban Cigarettes. But of course, we all know the government is raking in money. So go figure. All the tactics and studies are just so much malarkey. Myrna Armstrong, Bolton, Ont. About time. Here is what I do not understand. If there was a brand of milk that had a trace of 'arsenic' in would it not be pulled from all the shelves in all the grocery stores? Of course they would. Canada wide. The same day. And they would shut down the dairy farm until an investigation had been made. This product has 'arsenic' as an ingRedient and is sold where kids by their bubble gum? Make it a prescription drug to be prescribed by doctors. Do something. Put it into liquor stores. Just get it out of the convenience stores. Hans Ohrstrom, Richmond Hill The following quote is taken from Health Canada: "It is estimated that there are More than 4,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke and at least 50 of them have been proven to cause cancer. Most of the toxic chemicals of cigarette smoke, including carbon monoxide, benzene, formaldehyde and hydrogen cyanide, are created when tobacco burns. Others such as lead, nitrosamines and nicotine are found naturally in unburned tobacco but are released as it burns.” Instead of covering up displays, our government should be legislating measures that force the manufacturers to remove chemicals that make their product More addictive, More 'pleasing' and More deadly to those woeful consumers who can't resist putting that 'stick' to their lips. Cynthia Wells, Toronto Just go ahead and make tobacco use illegal already. This is so sickening, all the attacks smokers face. Next it will be against the law for people to smoke in their own homes. Rick Allan, Hamilton There is a law and fine for underage drinking. What not have the same for underage smoking and underage possession of tobacco products? Barry Pletch, Toronto I think that it may delay young people from picking it up as a habit, but I don't believe that in the long run it will deter people from smoking. The only thing that will really help prevent kids from smoking is education, education, education, and parental guidance/discipline should they decide to try it. That and the continual increasing of prices that are making too expensive for anyone to smoke. Dave So, Scarborough This is just laughable. What a bunch of buffoons in our government. If a child wants to smoke they will smoke. It's not about the displays, it's about peers, parents and society. I hardly believe that hiding the Cigarettes is going to get kids to stop smoking. They can get Cigarettes from their parents, friends etc. Why not ban smoking altogether? Can anyone say cash cow? The government would never dream of banning anything that generates billions of dollars. Elizabeth Zangolli, Richmond Hill Kids will smoke no matter what. I'd like to believe however, that less will light up once a generation grows up without having been bombarded with subliminal ads for this product. The government fully endorsed smoking as I was growing up and will always remain responsible to smokers since they condoned the addiction in the first place. David Makcrow, North Bay, Ont. It is ridiculous. Illegal drugs are not on display and people still seek, buy, and use them. Hiding Cigarettes will do nothing but add to the workload of those clerks who are working in a store which sells Cigarettes. This is just window dressing. If the government was serious, they would not be legally sold. Richard Lane, Ottawa If anything, it will have the opposite effect. First, teens are attracted to smoking through their group relationships, aka peer pressure. Second, hiding the evil fags behind "smoked glass" screens simply adds to the enticement. The Nanny State continues to Strike with this laughable effort. Garth Gilligan, Sooke, Ont. The counter display is part of the total advertising campaign of the tobacco companies. The less they see of tobacco or advertising of tobacco the less likely children are to be tempted to take that first puff. Any TV show or movie that depicts smoking or makes any favourable comments on smoking should be banned from airing during the hours that children might be viewing. William Mellor, Durham Consulting firms make lots of money creating reports that tell the Liberals exactly what they want to hear: SMall bureaucratic but gutless measures like this will save our kids from smoking. The reality is it won't affect a single person aside from retailers. Steve Jessop, Mt. Albert, Ont. I doubt if buying Cigarettes is an impulse thing. People go to a store to buy smokes and this is another waste of time. With the emphasis on stopping smoking, why hasn't the governments made a move to allow tobacco farmers, who have contributed many millions in taxes to the country, to grow hemp? This is a great product for clothing, newsprint and so on. People are so short-sighted. Ralph Smith, London, Ont. I think it was 2 years ago when Manitoba introduced this little piece of legislature and stores here had to do the same thing. Sure it was met with some resistance, but its not a hard thing to accomplish. The stores in question simply added curtains or a blind system in front of their cigarette displays. People know the Cigarettes are still there, but you can't see them. I'm personally a non-smoker so it doesn't really affect me, but if it proves to Reduce some of the underage smoking then maybe it was a good initiative. But it certainly won't stop underage smoking; there's too much peer pressure, glamorization of smoking and not too mention parental influence (for those families where the parents smoke -- or did). But if smoking is dangerous to our health as we all know it to be, then what about those darn Twinkies in the convenience store as well? Keith Nicholls, Winnipeg I don't know why a bill shouldn't be passed making it illegal to smoke Cigarettes - period. It's already been banned just about everywhere and there are numerous methods to aid people in quitting. I grew up in a household full of smokers, although I never smoked myself, but I now suffer with a variety of respiratory conditions - probably from inhaling all that second-hand smoke. Why should we have to pay for hospital beds taken up by patients dying from lung cancer due to cigarette smoking when patients with other illnesses, through no fault of their own, must wait for months on end? Kassandra Hart, Mississauga Last time I checked, 'pretty' cigarette displays are NOT the reason why people are smoking, and continue to smoke. If they are interested in getting behind the issue, then they need to tackle root of the problem. The 'anti-smoking' movement is just getting ridiculous. If they want to treat smokers like criminals, then they should make smoking Cigarettes illegal. Megan Manley, Seoul, South Korea That's like asking, ‘will covering up one's body make sex less appealing?’ John Missios, Toronto How soon before the health nannies have us flipping through binders of liquor labels at the LCBO, rather than displaying 'tempting' bottles on the shelves? Tim Lemieux, Toronto Stop the madness. I think it is unfair the way society treats smokers, and now they want them to look through a binder to buy Cigarettes? Can they order by name or must they be humiliated by having to point to their brand. What next, will they have to buy them in the ally behind the store? If the government is so against smoking why do the still accept the huge revenue they make off Cigarettes in the form of taxes, and if the really do care about the people's health ban them altogether. Give it a rest, smokers are people too so let's treat them as such. Joseph Brown, Garson, Ont. I think that if the kids can't see the Cigarettes they would then have to ask for them - this will deter some from buying them and from even being enticed. Those that still want to smoke will do so no matter what is done to conceal the stock on the shelves. Hiding the supply is a good measure. Gabbi Byrnes, Burlington If the Ontario Government really wanted to curb smoking rates, they would only allow pharmacies to dispense this addictive, dopamine releasing drug by prescription. Matt Rependa, Toronto Oh come on, forbidden fruit is always the sweetest in the eyes of teens. Head shops don't display certain things, and the undisplayed items, though illegal, still sell. This is More government bark, with no bite. Carlo Ang, Toronto I just want to make sure I understand. Cigarettes need to be coveRed, so as not to tempt young people to smoke but porn magazines can be visible, gambling can be advertised and liquor will still be sold 7 days a week. Just make Cigarettes illegal rather than constantly imposing new restrictions on the people who legally sell them. Oh that's right, you'd be out a couple billion dollars then. Joanna Terry, Burlington Soon you'll have to mail-order your Cigarettes, and they'll come wrapped in paper or black plastic like pornography. It all seems a bit pointless to me to be hiding the Cigarettes behind the counter when any kid can go out on the street and see one in every ten or so people puffing away. Well, that's our tax dollars hard at work for you. Paul Maxfield, Memphis, Tenn. No, either young people smoke or they don't and if they do they will get them regardless of whether they are hidden. If Cigarettes cost $20 a pack the smoking rate might drop. Rennette Madill, Whitby It will just make it More intriguing. The forbidden is always More interesting. The best example parents can give children is not to smoke themselves and to openly discuss the many reasons that this is not a nice habit to get involved in for financial, health and social reasons. June Warenycia, Scarborough I am a non-smoker, do not like smoking, do not encourage smoking, do not tolerate smoking in my house, in my car, and I endeavor to avoid people and places where smoking occurs. Butt (smoking pun) this is ridiculous to put this added expense on to the retailers. It does not surprise me that Pinocchio McGuinty would come up with More useless laws that cost the taxpayer and business sector More money. Marijuana doesn't get advertised does it? A booming business. Ray Bartlett, Burlington McGuinty still does not have the courage to ban all tobacco products. John Kadonoff, Oakville We have liquor stores for liquor, why not have smoke shops for Cigarettes? That way only smokers will enter, non smokers have no reason to enter and will not be tempted. To be honest the best advertising is word of mouth and you will always find a friend or family member who smokes and they will have a far better impact than any Camel. Linda Fogazzi, Innisfil, Ont.

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