Source: Toronto Star (Canada)
Copyright: 1998, The Toronto Star
Pubdate: Monday, December 7, 1998
Page: A17
Section: Letters
Author: Dave Haans, Toronto


In her Opinion page piece, Why don't we just make smoking illegal? (Nov.
24), Elvira Cordileone states that we shouldn't be suing tobacco companies
for something that rational people choose to do.

She then advocates banning tobacco altogether, writing that we should "stop
trying to make our courts do our dirty work" by suing tobacco companies.

If we bannned smoking, an instant, monstrous black market in tobacco would
rise up literally overnight to replace legitimate tobacco sales.

Of course, to try to stem the flow, police would have to contribute
significant resources to uselessly arrest and put through the courts tens of
thousands of people each year, just as they do now with other banned

In effect, we would be letting our courts do our dirty work for us.

Personally, I would rather have the courts go after tobacco manufactures
than hundreds of thousands of Canadians addicted to nicotine.  I would also
rather have the government spend a little bit of money on prevention and
treatment, than huge sums of money treating a health problem as a criminal

We already know how much of a failure prohibition has been in respect to
alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and heroin -- let's not repeat these failures
with tobacco.

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Checked-by: Don Beck