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.