In recent months, some tobacco and health experts around the country have begun to devise radical proposals to hinder Big Tobacco and crush the business in a final, coordinated attack.
The National Post’s Tom Blackwell, in particular, has offered illuminating coverage of the debates within the anti-smoking community, where moderates are pitted against prohibitionists. The first endgame summit will be held this upcoming fall at Queen’s University.
The full article by Blackwell is here: http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/the-tobacco-endgame-radical-proposals-aimed-at-winning-faltering-war-on-smoking
It begins like this:
In the faltering war against cigarettes, the latest battle cries are eye openers: prohibit smoking for anyone born after the year 2000; require a licence to buy cigarettes; nationalize the tobacco industry.
Or just make selling cigarettes illegal.
All have been proposed as part of the “tobacco endgame,” a radical — and controversial — new approach to the smoking scourge that a select group of Canadian public-health experts will discuss later this year.
Endgame proponents note that a stubborn 20 per cent of the population continues to smoke — tens of thousands of them dying annually as a result — and argue the numbers are unlikely to decrease much under current anti-smoking policies.
So, they say, it’s time for innovative, out-of-the-box ideas that might just stamp out Western society’s biggest-single source of disease.
“We’ve got to do something,” says Rob Schwartz, executive director of the Ontario Tobacco Research Unit. “I’m an academic, not an advocate, but when I have the data in my hands, I feel a moral responsibility to make it known.”
Canada’s first tobacco-endgame “summit” is planned for Queen’s University in Kingston, Ont., this fall. It will be headed by Dr. Elizabeth Eisenhauer, the oncology department chairwoman, with about 100 invitation-only public-health and policy experts brainstorming a blueprint for dramatic action.