The latest in Quebec Politics:
The Quebec government wants to get a law passed whereby tobacco companies will be obliged to help fund treatment for people with smoking related illnesses.
Now, I'm not a smoker myself and honestly, I can't conceive why people would start smoking, seeing everything we know about it's effects on a human body.
And sure, I'm not thrilled my tax dollars are being used to pay to treat lung cancer in smokers, but I'm not thrilled at a lot of ways my tax dollars are being spent. And god knows, I'll need treatment eventually for something or other so it's all good.
But I really don't think that making the tobacco companies pay is the way to go. I think it takes all responsibility away from those who started smoking in the first place and who certainly cannot argue these days that they didn't know what they were getting into.
If tobacco companies are made to pay for the damage their product wreaks, does that mean the smokers themselves should pay for their treatments also? I'd think not, isn't that why they pay taxes? And isn't that why the tobacco companies pay taxes?
If you start this, then what? Should car manufacturers pay for treatment of people injured in car accidents?
Should companies who make alcohol be liable for the cirrhosis and other alcohol related problems?
Should the Quebec government be liable for the problems caused by gambling? Oh yeah, probably not, since the gambling industry (lotteries, casinos etc.) are government owned here. So obviously that's different.
What is it with no one taking responsibility for their actions today?
You damn well have to know that if you start smoking your risk of lung cancer (among other ailments) skyrockets.
If, however, you decided to smoke and take your chances, I don't think tobacco companies should be liable for the damage.
Any more than Absolut or Seagrams should be held responsible for the damage alcohol wreaks.
People are responsible for their decisions, and if there's a cost to society, so be it. There's always a cost regardless.
Short of outlawing cigarettes (and any other substance or activity that's harmful) there isn't a whole lot to be done. And we all know how well the outlawing of this stuff goes. Remember the prohibition? Anyone who wanted to drink could get around the rules really easily. Drugs? Naw, nobody takes any illegal drugs - and they're about impossible to get. Sheesh.
It just doesn't work that way.
And to the government, who obviously knows this, and is using this ridiculous law to gain popularity points - Please. Just shut the hell up and go away.