Thursday, January 12, 2012


The writer, Gerry Verrier, is the Program Director of Manitoba's Behavioural Health Foundation. Now in its 41st year, BHF, has 136 beds for men, women, children and families and turns out clean and sober citizens every day of the week.


Where are the safe cigarette smoking sites?? You would think that if there was an addiction, and nicotine addiction is one of the if not the most debilitating addictions, that required interventions and programs for people to stop so as to save health dollars and protect children and others from dangerous second hand smoke, it would be nicotine addiction.

What really kicks me in the crotch over this issue is the tax dollars most cigarette smokers pay. In 2007, 63-79% of what smokers paid for a package of cigarettes went towards provincial and federal taxes. 63-79%, for pete's sakes! (

And what do smokers get for their tax dollars? They are ostracized, they are forced to look at disgusting photos on their cigarette packages, they must hide in alleyways and laws have been created that prevent smokers from even smoking in their own cars should the cars contain minors. People complain about cigarette butts on the streets, but what about the chewing gum that literally coats sidewalks? I've seen the steam machines the city of Vancouver has out and about with the sole job of cleaning gum off sidewalks.

Smoking cigarettes is not illegal. Buying cigarettes is not illegal. Selling cigarettes is not illegal with the proper licenses (another form of taxation). But somehow smokers are stigmatized and there is a national taxpayer-funded campaign to stop people from smoking.

But hey if you use heroin, our society will provide you with nurses and doctors and places where you can freely use those illegal drugs. You will even get free drug injecting/smoking paraphernalia. If you're a drunk, they want to provide you with free booze. If you smoke crack cocaine, the most destructive drug to hit our communities, there are taxpayer-funded vans and nurses that will bring you free kits that will make it easier for you to smoke crack.

What taxes do crackheads and junkies pay? Why are tax-paying cigarette smokers treated like shit while thieving junkies are provided with everything to continue with their sorry existence?? Why not employ the same techniques used with cigarette smokers with junkies? Where's the national campaign to stomp out heroin and cocaine addiction?