In a recent letter in the Standard Freeholder, Susan Lilley is correct in stating that CCSA and OCSA (Canadian and Ontario Convenience Stores Association) are backed by the tobacco giants, but so what?
The tobacco giants are backed by the federal government, Tobacco Enforcement in Health Units are backed by the Provincial government and the powerful anti-tobacco lobbyists. I have little interest in puppet behaviour, tobacco giants don’t control my strings. My customers determine the product i sell, and, in turn, I provide for my family and my retirement.
She also states that increased taxation is widely recognized as the single most effective method of reducing tobacco use. She did not identify which planet she is referring to. Here on earth when a consumer is given a choice between a $70 (legal) carton of smokes or a $20 (illegal) carton, they will most often choose the cheaper one and buy a bag of groceries with the $50 they saved.
She also suggests that our (tobacco giants and convenience stores) only motive in calling for reduced tobacco tax is to increase sales. Suppose this is where Tobacco Enforcement at Health Units take the reins. I can confidently assure an unsuspecting public that Tobacco Enforcement Officers who enforce the Smoke Free Ontario Act through Health Departments all over Ontario are instructed by their superiors to ignore provincially mandated guidelines and use their power to eradicate legal tobacco sales through fines and Automatic Prohibition. Very soon these officers will have to tell the truth about how they have been targeting hard working, honest business owners and abused their power, while blatantly ignoring their mandated protocols.
Health Units have no business enforcing the Smoke Free Ontario Act as they have a vested interest in seeing tobacco retail disappear. That is not justice or equality under the law, that’s fascism.
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