To the Editor:
Smoking has become an immoral act.
We aren’t allowed to sell cigarettes openly, but must keep them locked in a cupboard out of sight. You cannot smoke in buildings or in most cases at least 20 feet from the doorway. We cannot smoke in our vehicles with children present, or if the vehicle is considered a work place.
Medical people see it as the cause of many illnesses and the sheer mention of smoking anything best keep it to ourselves. Cigarettes have the most gruesome potentiality of smoking in one’s lifetime depicted on every package. And most importantly, we do not smoke in our homes. There are no cigarette advertisements on radio or television and rarely if ever on the Internet.
Pressure is being put on the film industry about showing smoking in their films.
And then there’s alcohol. Viewed in television commercials and sold openly. You can buy it at the government-run LCBO, in grocery stores and soon to come to your neighbourhood, corner stores.
It is transported and brought into the home and consumed in the open sight of children. Ask the police and courts the effects of alcohol abuse to get a clear picture of the devastating impact on community and society as a whole.
Why aren’t there pictures, as in cigarette packaging, of the true effects of alcohol? Where is the picture of the woman with the black eyes from domestic assaults? Where are the pictures on the case or bottle of the abused poverty-ridden children victimized by alcohol abuse?
We have gotten it right with the impaired driving standards and laws.
But if we are truly going to make a dent in this problem we have to get honest with ourselves. Alcohol is a big problem in society. It has been shown in history how whole cultures can be transformed in many harmful ways by the introduction of alcohol from foreign hands.
I hope I live to see the day when health warnings are put on liquor containers. Perhaps a swollen liver ravaged by the drive to take that next drink. Perhaps an honest depiction of the social and familial ramifications of alcoholism.
And our children are seeing beer advertisements here in Canada of groups of young people having a great deal of fun drinking together, all fitting in just nicely.
What does that say to the young people who are struggling to feel a part of or lacking in the social skills to become involved with others?
Jim W. Fayle,