De accijnssprookjes

In een tweede bijdrage van de Canadese ex-antirokenactivist Luc Martial gaat deze in op de manier waarop in Canada met accijnsverhogingen werd omgegaan.


Ondanks dat een eerste buitenmatige accijnsverhoging in de tachtiger jaren (170% verhoging in 10 jaar) catastrofale gevolgen had voor de economie, pleiten de Canadese anti’s van vandaag nog steeds voor rigoreuze verhogingen.


As a long-standing and still very much committed tobacco control professional in Canada, I can appreciate the importance of tobacco tax policy within any comprehensive tobacco control framework.  During my years with one of the world’s most successful advocacy groups – the Non-Smokers’ Rights Association of Canada (NSRA) – in the early 1990s, I actively researched and argued for the need to equalize tax rates among products and provinces, while effectively responding to ever-changing market conditions.  The idea that pricing could play an important role in reducing minors’ access to tobacco products greatly justified for me the need to explore and make use of emerging theory on the subject.  It still does.


My interest and knowledge of the issues at hand would be called upon in 2000, as a representative to the federal government’s interdepartmental working group on tobacco taxation.  Unfortunately, my involvement in this working group would prove a rude awakening, as it became increasingly clear that the research and policy foundation necessary for accountable public policy on tobacco taxation simply did not exist at that time.  Anti-tobacco rhetoric aside, I would still argue that Canadian governments —  and the vast majority of sponsoring health groups —  remain poorly equipped to understand, develop and effectively manage sound tobacco tax policy in Canada.


While I eagerly await the day when true debate on this issue will materialize, my peripherally addressing vocal tobacco taxation advocates such as Galbraith, Lewit, Mieir, Chapman, Warner and Townsend would add little value at this time.  The real question is not whether tobacco taxes can effectively impact consumption— they can, to a certain point.  The real issue is, to what extent is any taxation structure and/or level justified?  And is this fair and accountable to all stakeholders?  In my opinion, Canada long ago moved away from using tobacco tax policy to abusing it.


A Taxing Tale

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Citaten

  • "Es ist schwieriger, eine vorgefaßte Meinung zu zertrümmern als ein Atom."
    (Het is moeilijker een vooroordeel aan flarden te schieten dan een atoom.)
    Albert Einstein

  • "Als je alles zou laten dat slecht is voor je gezondheid, dan ging je kapot"
    Anonieme arts

  • "The effects of other people smoking in my presence is so small it doesn't worry me."
    Sir Richard Doll, 2001

  • "Een leugen wordt de waarheid als hij maar vaak genoeg wordt herhaald"
    Joseph Goebbels, Minister van Propaganda, Nazi Duitsland


  • "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win."
    Mahatma Gandhi

  • "There''s no such thing as perfect air. If there was, God wouldn''t have put bristles in our noses"
    Coun. Bill Clement

  • "Better a smoking freedom than a non-smoking tyranny"
    Antonio Martino, Italiaanse Minister van Defensie

  • "If smoking cigars is not permitted in heaven, I won't go."
    Mark Twain

  • I've alllllllways said that asking smokers "do you want to quit?" and reporting the results of that question, as is, is horribly misleading. It's a TWO part question. After asking if one wants to quit it must be followed up with "Why?" Ask why and the majority of the answers will be "because I'm supposed to" (victims of guilt and propaganda), not "because I want to."
    Audrey Silk, NYCCLASH