Health Canada Promotes Smoking to 8 Year Olds

Mar. 7, 2007

It appears that not only does our Government support Two Tier Policing we now find out that the Government supports Two Tier Health Care.

Just how many years has Health Canada been telling people that smoking is bad for you? Suddenly Health Canada has decided that Native Tobacco is a HEALER of diseases.

The Ad complain tells us that Commerical Tobacco is a KILLER and causes Cancer, Stroke, Heart Disease, Emphysema, Impotence, Infertility and Death.

Traditional Native Tobacco is a HEALER and it brings about Wisdom, Love, Respect, Bravery, Honesty, Humility and Truth. [see Poster]

Health Canada provides funding for this Aboriginal Tobacco Strategy, but if you click on the photo you will see that Health Canada added the following disclaimer to the bottom of the poster:

"The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the views of Health Canada."

Surprise, Surprise.

We pay money to promote smoking by Aboriginal Youth while Aboriginal Health Problems related to smoking are the highest of any group in Canada.

Click to enlarge

Health Canada is not the only one to suddenly support smoking. Cancer Care Ontario helps fund the advertisement and even created the 'Request for Proposal' for the advertisment in which it states: [link to proposal]

"To honor the role of Aboriginal young people as the future of Aboriginal people and the initiators of change in their communities the Aboriginal Tobacco Strategy (ATS) is pleased to announce the availability of project funds for action-oriented Tobacco Wise Projects for young people between the ages of 8-14."

You can hear the radio spots to the right and clearly they are designed to get Native Youth from 8-14 to smoke "Traditional Tobacco"

Radio advertisement to Target Native Youth

Radio Commercials – Listen Up! - listen to the facts

30 Sec Radio Spot (Female)

30 Sec Radio Spot (Male)

60 Sec Radio Spot (Female)

60 Sec Radio Spot (Male)

Disturbing Facts ABout Smoking & First Nations Youth

Statistics from the First Nation Regional Longitudinal Health Survey 2002/03 indicate the smoking rate for First Nation’s people are:

First Nations smoking rates are about triple the rate for Canadians in general.

First Nation girls, 15-17 years old have a smoking rate of 61%. The rate for Canadian girls in the same age range is 15%.

First Nation boys, 15-17 years old have a smoking rate of 47%. The rate for Canadian boys in the same age rage is 13%.

Cancer in Ontario's First Nations people as compared with the general population

The overall cancer incidence rate in First Nations people, while still well below the rate for the general population, is rising quickly. Much of this increase is due to the rise in colorectal cancer, and rapidly rising lung cancer rates. Smoking, is the most important risk factor for lung cancer and is now established as a risk factor for colorectal cancer. Compared to the Ontario population as a whole, a high number of First Nations people smoke cigarettes. Aboriginal people have used tobacco for thousands of years for ritual, ceremonial and medicinal purposes. Widespread cigarette use a new trend.

Health Facts

Tobacco is the leading cause of preventable illness and premature death in Canada. Each year, over 47,000 Canadians die from smoking-related causes. Of these deaths, 30,230 are among men and 17,351 are among women. A total of 55 boys and 41 girls under the age of one are included in these numbers. These deaths are the result of both first and second hand smoke..

In Ontario, tobacco products kill over 16,000 people a year – that’s the size of many small towns in Ontario!

Tobacco use is responsible for the deaths of half of all life-long pack-a-day smokers.

Cigarettes cause 18,159 cardiovascular deaths every year, including 746 heart disease deaths due to second hand smoke. In Ontario, there are 6,379 cardiovascular deaths due to smoking each year, including 302 ischaemic heart disease deaths due to passive smoking. Smokers are 70% more likely to die from Coronary heart disease than non-smokers.

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is the fourth leading cause of death in Canada. COPD is caused by a blockage of the airways in the lungs.  The most common form is a combination of chronic bronchitis and emphysema.  Smoking accounts for 80 to 90% of all cases of COPD. There is no cure.

Tobacco products are responsible for 18,708 cancer deaths per year, including 361 deaths due to second hand smoke.  This accounts for 31% of all cancer deaths.

Traditional Tobacco Heals
All through this marketing compaign you see the words, "What The Elders Say" about the great healing powers of traditional tobacco.

We phoned Health Canada to see what Scientific evidence there was to cause both Health Canada and Cancer Care Ontario to suddenly believe that tobacco was a healer. Here is a summary of my calls:

1) They were shocked to hear that Health Canada was funding this.

2) They were unaware of any evidence to support the healing ability of traditonal tobacco.

3) They could not understand how any smoking could be beneficial.

4) They were at a loss for words when they saw the posters with the little child in them.

Health Canada has started an investigation into this.

For more information:

Aboriginal Tobacco Strategy - Tobacco Wise web site - Link

Cancer Care Ontario web site - Link

Cancer Care Ontario Contacts:

Pamela Johnson
Manager, Aboriginal Tobacco Strategy
416-971-9800 ext 3212

Theresa Sandy
Project Coordinator, Aboriginal Tobacco Strategy
416-971-9800 ext 3372