Interview: Officer of Langley Detachment RCMP

Operations Officer of Langley Detachment RCMP

A: There is no safe way to smoke. Vapour cigarettes are now seen as an alternative but they still contain nicotine which is a highly addictive component that has a negative effect on the body.

Q: What are the dangers of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), or secondhand smoke?

A: Secondhand smoke has proven to have the same effects as regular smoke. Many municipalities have banned smoking in parks and recreation sites for this reason. B.C. has a law that prohibits smoking in a vehicle that has minors in it. The dangers are that people who are trying to avoid the dangers of smoking cannot do it if they are surrounded by smokers.

Q: Is smoking common in young people in Langley? How common?

A: Smoking is somewhat common in young people in Langley but there has been dramatic reduction in younger people who start smoking. This is due to the government campaigns that deter people from starting to smoke. Education in schools and in the media, studies showing the harm that it does and packaging that shows the effects of smoking.

Q: How does tobacco affect the economy?

A: Tobacco is one of the highly taxed items sold in Canada. This is done as a deterrence  but also a means to offset the high costs of medical conditions related to smoking. There are illegal producers and distributors of cigarettes who try to avoid paying taxes and the police spend time investigating these illegal activities. Smoking costs society a great deal and it outweighs the revenue generated.

Q: Besides Nicotine, what makes smoking cigarettes so addicting?

A: Smoking is habit-forming and is often done in social situations. Some people feel comfortable smoking in a group or with friends so there can be some peer pressure when you first start out.

Q: What government agents regulate the potency of nicotine?

A: No one regulates nicotine levels in regular cigarettes but the companies have to report to Health Canada.Health Canada regulates nicotine levels in E cigarettes. This is especially important in E cigarettes as the nicotine in not naturally occurring.

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