C.A.G.E. has asked the Canadian Human Rights Commission about 3 years ago if job discrimination due to tobacco addiction was grounds for filing a complaint and their answer was that tobacco dependence was definitely not covered. We then turned around and queried Health Canada about their allegations that tobacco was more addictive than heroin and cocaine and why the Human Rights Commission doesn’t recognize it as such. Up to this day we still have not gotten a reply, not that we were really expecting a coherent one.
The truth is that authorities simply talk through both sides of their mouths. If they truly believe that smokers are desperate addicts as they claim, then they should be granting them the same protection as any other addict or alcoholic when it comes to human rights. Yet they don’t. The answer is simply because tobacco cannot be compared to any other substance. Millions of people throughout the world have successfully quit, using their will power alone. The problem with those who fail resides in whether they attempt to quit because they are truly wanting it or because of social pressure. Contrary to the propaganda, many current smokers simply do not wish to quit as they find many benefits in tobacco and its active substance nicotine, or because they simply enjoy using a product that, may we emphasize, is legally sold.
One lady in B.C. is testing the system as the Montreal Gazette reports. She’s filing a human rights complaint because she feels she was discriminated against obtaining a job based on her smoking status. Albeit it will be interesting to see the developments of this case, it would be setting a very dangerous precedent for smokers throughout Canada if the lady wins. Citizens who smoke would be further stigmatized as addicts incapable of taking their own decisions for their well-being and that of their families and children. Custody cases would be jeopardized because of one of the parents’ smoking status, medication would be fully covered by an already overburdened healthcare system and compulsory treatment will undoubtedly follow somewhere in the future. All in all people who smoke would be even further marginalized making the pharmaceutical industry and their front groups richer in the process. Is obtaining a job working for an anti-smoker employer really worth the precedent this case would be setting for the rest of the smoking citizens? Wouldn’t it be more worthwhile to fight for the right to truthful information and the end of a corrupt system instead of begging for pity?
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