Smoking Statistics

View Poll Results: By imposing taxes do you think smoking with young people 15 - 24 is
Increasing 2 22.22%
Decreasing 2 22.22%
Don't know 5 55.56%
Voters: 9. You may not vote on this poll

Retired_Can_Soldier
#1
I did a bit of perusing today on the net and was going to throw up some statistics on whether smoking with young people is really on the decline thanks to Tax increases, but there is so much contradictory information out there I thought I would just throw it up to discussion.

I quit smoking over a decade ago. I didn't do it because of cost or taxes, I did it because my chest was starting to hurt and I felt crummy all the time. My wife quit about a year later and neither of us have smoked since. Our kids are another story. All three of my boys started smoking. Most of them started the same way I did. Smoking socially at parties and it just evolved from there.

The politicians like to claim that they are winning the battle against smoking, by imposing heavy taxes on smokers and targeting tobacco companies.

I see a lot of young people out there smoking and they are not buying their cigarettes from the local store, but purchasing cheaper native cigarettes. When Jean Chretien came to power he rolled back the taxes on cigarettes because smuggling was out of control and they were spending way too many resources on trying to battle it.

Since that time they have managed to regain the tax and American Partners now do the same, so smuggling cigarettes is no longer the lucrative business it once was. Now the prohibition on cigarettes has created an underground economy in which manufacturing of the product is far more lucrative.

I really question the statistics the government is keeping on the smoking rate between 15 - 24 and think it is pretty subjective.

Yesterday I heard two of the former Mayors of Vancouver on the radio arguing how they were going to quell smoking marijuana and by legalizing, regulating and taxing the piss out of it. Sounds like there will be another dual underground economy created to me.

Anyone else want to chime in.
 
#juan
No Party Affiliation
+1
#2
RCS 4 of my siblings have been lost to smoking. I quit smoking over twenty years ago........about ten years before
my first heart attack. I started smoking at fifteen years of age and at that time cigarettes were still relatively cheap
if you ignored the health cost. I think I quit smoking mostly because I was no longer enjoying it. I still remember that
wonderful first cigarette in the morning with a cup of coffee.......obviously something created by the devil....
 
Tonington
#3
Quote: Originally Posted by Retired_Can_SoldierView Post

I really question the statistics the government is keeping on the smoking rate between 15 - 24 and think it is pretty subjective.

Assuming that someone could quantify the actual rate of smoking for people aged 15-24, how do you think it would differ from the available statistics, or maybe you could explain what you feel would be a more objective estimate compared to the stats available right now.

High taxes have been found to lower consumption, even for addictive products like tobacco. Sure, some people will turn to contraband products, but it's not a perfect trade-off. It's not like buying gas down the street from a station with lower prices.

Nova Scotia has had a large decrease in tobacco consumption for the younger demographics. It's been attributed to a number of policies, including higher taxes. Again it's hard to precisely estimate the impact of individual policies, but it's a finding that has been pretty robust, considering the many different jurisdictions where this finding has held up.
 
Ron in Regina
Free Thinker
+3
#4  Top Rated Post
Quote: Originally Posted by Retired_Can_SoldierView Post

....I really question the statistics the government is keeping on the smoking rate between 15 - 24 and think it is pretty subjective.

Yesterday I heard two of the former Mayors of Vancouver on the radio arguing how they were going to quell smoking marijuana and by legalizing, regulating and taxing the piss out of it. Sounds like there will be another dual underground economy created to me.

Anyone else want to chime in.


....There already is a vast underground economy with marijuana, already in place, before
it might become legalized, regulated and taxed. Sounds like that battle is lost before it
has begun. As far as try'n to regulate that underground economy if marijuana is legalized,
how's regulating it currently working out so far?
 
CDNBear
#5
Quote: Originally Posted by ToningtonView Post

High taxes have been found to lower consumption, even for addictive products like tobacco. Sure, some people will turn to contraband products, but it's not a perfect trade-off. It's not like buying gas down the street from a station with lower prices.

I agree, it isn't like price hopping from one gas bar to another.

Name brand cigarettes purchased by the carton at your local convenience store, $60. Even for low end name brands.

A carton of name brand cigarettes from a First Nations outlet, $40. $30, for similar First Nations brands. And $15 to $20 for generics, of low inconsistent quality.
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
+1
#6
Quote: Originally Posted by ToningtonView Post

Assuming that someone could quantify the actual rate of smoking for people aged 15-24, how do you think it would differ from the available statistics, or maybe you could explain what you feel would be a more objective estimate compared to the stats available right now.

Well I guess it depends on how the government is gathering those statistics. If it is based in any way on cigarette tax collection it's not exactly a honest statistic. For lack of a better word.

I don't know what would be more objective, I just question whether the present system is as effective as the politicians would have us believe.
 
Ron in Regina
Free Thinker
#7
As far as smoking goes (with the currently legal & heavily taxed stuff) with the 24 & under
crowd....the best deterrent is educating the 25-the grave aged people who (smokers or
not) can talk honestly with the younger ones.
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
+3
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by Ron in ReginaView Post

....There already is a vast underground economy with marijuana, already in place, before
it might become legalized, regulated and taxed. Sounds like that battle is lost before it
has begun. As far as try'n to regulate that underground economy if marijuana is legalized,
how's regulating it currently working out so far?

My point is that the argument being made by a couple of these mayors is that they will be able to lower pot use through regulation and taxes. I question whether they've lowered consumption of tobacco or just created a new economy. If you put pot in the liquor stores and make it reasonable you will take that away from the dealers, but raise the price and guess what. You will have people manufacturing cheaper unregulated product as with tobacco.
 
CDNBear
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by Retired_Can_SoldierView Post

You will have people manufacturing cheaper unregulated product as with tobacco.

I won't dismiss the fact that there are some unregulated tobacco producers. But the majority are regulated. Including First Nations.

Cheap alcohol is easily attained in certain areas.
 
SLM
No Party Affiliation
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by Retired_Can_SoldierView Post

My point is that the argument being made by a couple of these mayors is that they will be able to lower pot use through regulation and taxes. I question whether they've lowered consumption of tobacco or just created a new economy. If you put pot in the liquor stores and make it reasonable you will take that away from the dealers, but raise the price and guess what. You will have people manufacturing cheaper unregulated product as with tobacco.

I think you're probably right, legalizing and taxing pot will probably follow the same trend. Because as soon as you create a new sin tax, they won't be able to stop themselves from going back to the trough again and again.

But spending all this time and money on policing, courts, etc is also a huge waste of resources. Decriminalizing may be the best option overall.

Really it's kind of six of one over half a dozen of the other as far as options go, in my opinion.

The assertion that increasing tax on tobacco is intended to curb smoking is pure b.s., a smokescreen (pun sort of intended) so as to get the public onside with a tax.
 
wulfie68
No Party Affiliation
+2
#11
As far as tobacco, I do think use in youths is declining but taxes increasing the price of a pack of cigarettes is a small part of the equation. I think the bigger influences are that society, as a whole, no longer holds smoking in a positive light, as was the case in past generations, and hand in hand with goes the education of the long term effects: the increased frequency of lung diseases, heart disease and cancerm etc. Another contributing factor, especially in youth, is the cosmetic effects: the stink of cigarette smoke is unappealing to most, it yellows teeth, and the "ashtray taste" of kissing a smoker.

Edit: As for this approach being used on pot, well, we need more documented research on long term effects of marijuana use, not just the anecdotal stuff we have now for an education and taxation scheme to be successful, IMO.
 
Kreskin
#12
The under 25's appear to be smoking way less than they use to. Actually every demographic is smoking less. I'm sure taxes have something to do with it. Unfortunately the tax is a bit of a false economy because more people will collect longer government entitlement benefits. It would be more cost efficient to have tax-free smokes so that most don't live long enough to bankrupt government pensions and long term healthcare resources.
 
taxslave
No Party Affiliation
+1
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by wulfie68View Post

As far as tobacco, I do think use in youths is declining but taxes increasing the price of a pack of cigarettes is a small part of the equation. I think the bigger influences are that society, as a whole, no longer holds smoking in a positive light, as was the case in past generations, and hand in hand with goes the education of the long term effects: the increased frequency of lung diseases, heart disease and cancerm etc. Another contributing factor, especially in youth, is the cosmetic effects: the stink of cigarette smoke is unappealing to most, it yellows teeth, and the "ashtray taste" of kissing a smoker.

Edit: As for this approach being used on pot, well, we need more documented research on long term effects of marijuana use, not just the anecdotal stuff we have now for an education and taxation scheme to be successful, IMO.

How do you expect to get long term documented research on an illegal product? I've
been smoking pot more or less continuously for 43 years and am not any crazier than when I started and in excellent health.
Never did smoke tobacco steady and haven't had one in 11 years. Partly because of the taxes but mostly because they didn't taste good any more.

Quote: Originally Posted by Retired_Can_SoldierView Post

My point is that the argument being made by a couple of these mayors is that they will be able to lower pot use through regulation and taxes. I question whether they've lowered consumption of tobacco or just created a new economy. If you put pot in the liquor stores and make it reasonable you will take that away from the dealers, but raise the price and guess what. You will have people manufacturing cheaper unregulated product as with tobacco.

I think the former mayors are more interested in the revenue potential and cutting the huge waste of tax dollars in prohibition than cutting pot use.
 
Zan
Green
+1
#14
I think public opinion and the social stigma that is now attached to smoking plays as big a role if not more than the price or taxation rates.

This is often verified by others I've chatted with about this subject - with smokers and former smokers. Almost all say that the degree of embarrassment they have about smoking or even being found out to be a smoker is a strong factor in their decision to either quit, minimize or hide their tobacco usage from peers and coworkers. For some, it's right up there with health concerns.

I don't know if anyone else notices this, but when I drive by a high school nowadays, I just don't see the crowds of smoking kids huddled around the corner anymore like it used to be 20 years ago. Same with post secondary institutions. I work at one, and I rarely see students standing around smoking outside, even in the designated smoking areas.

This may be a bit of a subjective observation, but imo, but I think the next generation have chosen new addictions with which to abuse their bodies: gaming and crappy food.
 
Cannuck
No Party Affiliation
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by ZanView Post

I don't know if anyone else notices this, but when I drive by a high school nowadays, I just don't see the crowds of smoking kids huddled around the corner anymore like it used to be 20 years ago. Same with post secondary institutions. I work at one, and I rarely see students standing around smoking outside, even in the designated smoking areas. .


Back in my day (early 80's) we were allowed to smoke between the double doors at the school entrances.
 
Liberalman
#16
smoking is a drag
 
Goober
Free Thinker
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by LiberalmanView Post

smoking is a drag

You can also be in drag and Smokin......
 
VanIsle
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by taxslaveView Post

How do you expect to get long term documented research on an illegal product? I've
been smoking pot more or less continuously for 43 years and am not any crazier than when I started and in excellent health.
Never did smoke tobacco steady and haven't had one in 11 years. Partly because of the taxes but mostly because they didn't taste good any more.



I think the former mayors are more interested in the revenue potential and cutting the huge waste of tax dollars in prohibition than cutting pot use.

Everyone is in excellent health until something like "the big one" strikes. I had coffee with a friend I had not seen for over 40 + years. She looked the picture of health. Not much excess weight, she is active, doesn't smoke and lives a relatively stress free life. The day after I saw her, she had a heart attack. How many people have you heard of that go in for a physical exam and have a heart attack within 24 hours to a week after being told they are in excellent health. Point being: nobody knows.
Regarding the sale of cigarettes (and pot would be no different except sales might be greater), it is impossible to keep any stats. The kids that are not old enough to buy their own walk in with a friend who is. Parents used to come into the store to pick up their kid who was getting off work, and buy the kids cigarettes for them! I really don't even understand the point in having an age limit regarding the purchase of cigarettes. Kids spend a lot more money on cigarettes than anyone realizes they do. They don't even try to hide it - not even the parents. They tell you outright that they are just there buying smokes for their kid. Those Mayors don't believe in anything more than the tax grab (boost) the economy will get if they legalize the sale of pot. The tax on cigarettes has not decreased the sale of them.

Quote: Originally Posted by GooberView Post

You can also be in drag and Smokin......

And do you want to talk about how you know about this Goober?
 
Liberalman
#19


They start so young
 
SLM
No Party Affiliation
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by LiberalmanView Post



They start so young

He looks like a Lucky Strikes man. Far too clean cut to be a Marlboro man.
 
Goober
Free Thinker
#21
Quote: Originally Posted by VanIsleView Post



And do you want to talk about how you know about this Goober?

As they say what happens in the closet, stays in the closet.
 
PoliticalNick
Free Thinker
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by wulfie68View Post

As far as tobacco, I do think use in youths is declining but taxes increasing the price of a pack of cigarettes is a small part of the equation. I think the bigger influences are that society, as a whole, no longer holds smoking in a positive light, as was the case in past generations, and hand in hand with goes the education of the long term effects: the increased frequency of lung diseases, heart disease and cancerm etc. Another contributing factor, especially in youth, is the cosmetic effects: the stink of cigarette smoke is unappealing to most, it yellows teeth, and the "ashtray taste" of kissing a smoker.

I have to agree with this as the major cause for any decrease in youth smokers. My sons don't smoke and none of their friends do either. It is looked upon as gross and disgusting and bad for your health. It is not the glamorous and cool thing to do anymore and the attitude of most young people towards it shows this.

I would have to surmise from my own experience that it is the general attitude towards smoking far more than any increase in taxes that account for significant drops in the amount of youth smokers.
 
Tonington
#23
Quote: Originally Posted by Retired_Can_SoldierView Post

Well I guess it depends on how the government is gathering those statistics. If it is based in any way on cigarette tax collection it's not exactly a honest statistic. For lack of a better word.

I don't know what would be more objective, I just question whether the present system is as effective as the politicians would have us believe.

It's survey data. On top of government collected statistics there is epidemiological studies of risk factors and prevalence. In provinces where the tobacco tax rate drops, the prevalence is higher compared to provinces where the tax rate is not dropped:
The effect of tobacco tax cuts on cigarette smoking in Canada
ScienceDirect - American Journal of Preventive Medicine : The Impact of Tobacco Tax Cuts on Smoking Initiation Among Canadian Young Adults
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
#24
Quote:

ConclusionsYoung adults are sensitive to cigarette prices. Reductions in cigarette prices will lead to increased smoking initiation among this group. Tobacco taxation should be an effective strategy to reduce smoking initiation among young adults.

Most of the kids I see smoking aren't puffing on Players or Export. They're smoking Rez cigarettes.

Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBearView Post

I won't dismiss the fact that there are some unregulated tobacco producers. But the majority are regulated. Including First Nations.

Cheap alcohol is easily attained in certain areas.

The regulated Native smokes are also much cheaper no?
 
Tonington
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by Retired_Can_SoldierView Post

Most of the kids I see smoking aren't puffing on Players or Export. They're smoking Rez cigarettes.

Ok...what about the other 99.9999% of Canadian youth who smoke? If you're going to go back from large survey data to anecdotes about what you see, and what your brain perceives as significant, then we're going to need to chat about objectivity versus subjectivity.

Smoking statistics are clear. Price increases lead to reduced prevalence. Price decreases lead to increased prevalence. There's a clear association between the price of a good (most goods), and consumer behaviour. For some goods more so than others.
 
Retired_Can_Soldier
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by ToningtonView Post

Ok...what about the other 99.9999% of Canadian youth who smoke? If you're going to go back from large survey data to anecdotes about what you see, and what your brain perceives as significant, then we're going to need to chat about objectivity versus subjectivity.

Smoking statistics are clear. Price increases lead to reduced prevalence. Price decreases lead to increased prevalence. There's a clear association between the price of a good (most goods), and consumer behaviour. For some goods more so than others.

Sounds to me like you are buying the whole thing hook line and sinker. If there is a study that links all drug use to marijuana as a gateway drug are you going to look at that study objectively or subjectively?

We are being presented with studies, but they are not including the number of youth moving from buying taxed cigarettes to rez cigarettes. And that doesn't just go for youth a lot of adults buy the cheap Rez smokes. You need to stop looking at the question I am raising as an attack on your ideology regarding using taxes to change peoples habits.
 
Ron in Regina
Free Thinker
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by ToningtonView Post

Ok...what about the other 99.9999% of Canadian youth who smoke? If you're going to go back from large survey data to anecdotes about what you see, and what your brain perceives as significant, then we're going to need to chat about objectivity versus subjectivity.

Smoking statistics are clear. Price increases lead to reduced prevalence. Price decreases lead to increased prevalence. There's a clear association between the price of a good (most goods), and consumer behaviour. For some goods more so than others.


RCS may have a valid observation (anecdotally) local to his circle of observation.

Outside of Ontario & (maybe) Quebec (call it the tobacco belt), cheap rez smokes
aren't "that" big of an issue I believe. Those two provinces do make up about 1/2 the
population of the country though.

Out here (SK) sales are supposedly limited now to something like 3 cartons/week/person
for Rez smokes tax free....for personal use, not for resale....and there was a stink raised
about that at the time but it has faded away. 3 cartons/week is just over 3 packs/day for
someone's personal use....and that sounds like lots for one set of lungs to deal with. That
works out to something like a smoke every 11 minutes, 16hrs/day (assuming someone
sleeps), everyday. Anyway, it keeps one person from wholesaling tax-free smokes out the
backdoor out here, or is an attempt to prevent that. I'm assuming there are rules/laws like
that elsewhere too....
 
Tonington
+1
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by Retired_Can_SoldierView Post

Sounds to me like you are buying the whole thing hook line and sinker.

Buying what whole thing? Consumers respond to price. That's a pretty robust finding. The association between smoking prevalence and price crosses demographics, borders, and cultures. So if the evidence is strong, I guess you could say I tend to value that information...

Quote:

If there is a study that links all drug use to marijuana as a gateway drug are you going to look at that study objectively or subjectively?

If? I'd read the study like I read any other...

Quote:

We are being presented with studies, but they are not including the number of youth moving from buying taxed cigarettes to rez cigarettes.

So? Prevalence isn't brand specific. If prevalence goes down, that covers "rez" smokes, tailor mades, rolled smokes, etc. It means that fewer people are smoking.

Quote:

And that doesn't just go for youth a lot of adults buy the cheap Rez smokes. You need to stop looking at the question I am raising as an attack on your ideology regarding using taxes to change peoples habits.

Attack on what ideology? I have no idea what you're trying to turn this into...I'm questioning your characterization of subjective stats and your reliance on small sample sizes...you didn't even know how the stats were collected, and you were talking about bias, but maybe without realizing it you're not controlling your own bias by interpreting large scale results against your smaller scope.

Quote: Originally Posted by Ron in ReginaView Post

RCS may have a valid observation (anecdotally) local to his circle of observation.

Yes, but tobacco regulations affect the entire population, and more than that the psychology of our brains doesn't make it easy for us to control our own biases in a situation like this. That's the whole point of sampling methodology in all sciences, to minimize the bias that exists.

Watch the video here about the dangers of anecdotal 'evidence':
Video on anecdotal evidence Evidence Based Thought
 

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