When I was a kid, I thought it would be nice to be able to smoke. My mother, a smoker must. My younger brother and I were sitting at the kitchen table with a pack of smokes and lit it.
It was awful. Coughing, choking and spewing smoke, the experiment quickly put an end to my romantic notions of smoking to be cool. This added to constant reminders from my mother about that bad habit of smoking has largely been a non-smoker, I would provide.
My mother finally quit smoking.
In the midst of national non-smoking week, it is interesting to look at some of the statistics. This year’s campaign focuses on young people. In Alberta, if you are under 18, you can not legally buy cigarettes. And yet, they seem to always find a way to get them.
Approximately 50,000 adolescents between the ages of 12 and 19 in Alberta are smokers according to the 2010 Canadian Community Health Survey.
Take a drive, Composite High School / World Wapiti Academy, and you will see young smokers haunting Leisure Centre and the upward direction on the street for their clubs, as the school recently banned smoking on school grounds.
What always made me shake my head and sees a middle school age children lighting up as they go home from school.
According to the Campaign for Smoke-Free Alberta recent survey of 809 Albertans conducted by Ipsos Reid, found that 70% of respondents support the $ 2 per pack increase in cigarette taxes if the funds were used to reduce tobacco use and promoting healthy lifestyles. The study was conducted between Dec. 20-26, 2011.
The Smoke-Free Alberta Alberta recently introduced a formal recommendation to the province on a hike in tobacco taxes as part of the 2012 budget consultations.
According to a press release of the coalition, $ 2.25 per pack of cigarettes tax increase in 2002 helped to reduce youth smoking from 24% in 2002 to 19% in 2003. Total consumption of tobacco fell by 24% in 2002.
Other statistics are listed in the press release, was that global data indicate a 10% increase in cigarette prices reduces consumption by 3 to 4% in the general population and from 6 to 12% among adolescents.
Alberta finance spokesman Chris Bourdeau has said the province will consider the recommendations as budget discussions continue over the next few months.
“Overall we share the same goal – to reduce tobacco use amongst youth,” he said. “We’re looking at all different options that are available to us. We’re going to consider them along with all the other submissions we’ve received.”
Bourdeau said between 2002 and 2009, tobacco taxes in Alberta increased from $ 16 per pack to $ 40 per box. The last adjustment was made in 2009.
It’s time for another adjustment.
The die-hard smokers will not like it, but some of those kids who smoke or those who are thinking about it, it can make a world of difference.