In 2013, Canada’s 4.6 million smokers puffed their way through 31,468,896,967 cigarettes. 37,000 of them died as a result of smoking.
In Ontario, 200 farmers grow 54 million pounds of tobacco. Three major tobacco companies have their headquarters in Canada, and two of them manufacture cigarettes in Canada.
Marie Polet is President and CEO of Imperial Tobacco Canada, which makes Player’s cigarettes. They employ 550 workers in Canada, and their products are responsible for almost 19,000 Canadian deaths every year. They are owned by British American Tobacco, which made a profit of $US 8.3 billion in 2012, up 15% from the previous year.
Because of the health risks associated with smoking, tobacco is one of the most regulated products in the world, as it should be.
Today, however, we are seeing a trend towards ineffective and excessive regulation. Several new rules have failed to meet their stated objectives and, in some cases, have proven counter-productive. No longer are these ineffective and excessive regulations aimed at tobacco products alone. In Canada and abroad, the list includes junk food, soda, sugar… and it is growing in leaps and bounds. – Marie Polet
Rothmans, Benson and Hedges manufactures cigarettes in Brampton. They currently employ over 780 people throughout 8 corporate and sales offices and two factories.They contributed almost 13,000 people to the Canadian smoking death toll, and $US 8.8 billion in profit for their parent company, Philip Morris International.
Thomas McCoy is President and CEO of JTI-Macdonald, which makes Export A cigarettes in Montreal. They can take responsibility for about five and a half thousand Canadian deaths per year. They are owned by Japan Tobacco International, whose profits increased 32% to $US 3.3 billion in 2012.
We’re more than a tobacco company, a leading global enterprise in the exciting area of FMCG. We employ more than 27,000 employees in 73 countries. We provide careers in Finance, Marketing, HR, Logistics, Public Affairs, Legal and Engineering, as well as develop industry-specific skill in areas from agronomy to anti-illicit trade. We encourage employees to refine practices in every area of our operations and we can promise a company that cares about you.
Founded in 1858, JTI-Macdonald Corp. employs more than 510 people in Canada. The company has manufacturing facilities in Montreal, administrative office in Mississauga and sales offices across Canada. In 2015, for the eleventh year, JTI-Macdonald Corp. was ranked among the 50 Best Companies to Work for in Canada, as compiled by Aon Hewitt. – from a JTI Job Advert on Workopolis
Canada has come a long way in restricting tobacco use. Now, only about 20% of Canadians smoke, compared to over 50% in the past. Strict laws about smoking in buildings and public transport have protected non-smokers from second-hand smoke. Cigarette packages have health warnings, and advertising is banned. However, if you look at this graph of cigarettes smoked per person, it is clear that we have almost stopped making progress. We still have a higher proportion of smokers than the world average.
Canadians still smoke too many cigarettes: . .. “progress achieved has taken far too long and … far too much death and disease has occurred to get where we are. We need to ramp up efforts and get the job done” – .L. James, Heart and Stroke Foundation.
There are 201,000 children aged 15 – 19 who smoke. About 87,000 Canadians, mostly young people, start smoking every year. Three-quarters of them will continue to smoke as adults, and half of those will die prematurely of tobacco-related diseases.
“Young Canadians deserve first-class protection from the marketing of the tobacco industry.” – M. Perley, Ontario Campaign for Action on Tobacco
As a rough rule, Canadians who have a decent life, with good reasons to live and other sources of pleasure, do not smoke. Those who are poor, under-educated, disabled, unemployed, who have mental illnesses, or who belong to the First Nations are much more likely to be smokers.
Smoking rates vary considerably between provinces and territories:
The provinces and territories with larger First Nations populations, such as Nunavut, tend to have higher smoking rates.
In 2017 there will be a review of the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy. The Health Minster, Dr. Jane Philpott has announced a national forum in early 2017 to discuss the future of tobacco control stating: “Smoking tobacco is the leading cause of preventable death in Canada. The Government of Canada is continuing to explore new and better ways to address smoking in Canada … to ensure Canada remains a leader in tobacco control.” As most smokers started smoking before the age of 21, one way to achieve the Minister’s goals would be to restrict teenage access to tobacco by increasing the minimum legal age (MLA) for buying tobacco products to 21 as has already been done in Hawaii and California.. This idea has the support of the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit .
The Prime Minister, in his mandate letter to the Health Minister, has instructed her to “Introduce plain packaging requirements for tobacco products, similar to those in Australia and the United Kingdom”.
Canada has stopped manufacturing and exporting one known carcinogen, asbestos. It should take the same principled stand on tobacco.
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Please sign my petition to increase the minimum legal smoking age in Canada to 21.