Governments are causing problems, not curing them

I must say my blood pressure was almost at a boil when I read The Times article "BC Health Minister suggests raising the smoking age to 21"

Editor, The Times;

I must say my blood pressure was almost at a boil when I read The Times article “BC Health Minister suggests raising the smoking age to 21”. This is another Liberal hair-brained idea!

Health Minister Terry Lake goes on to say, “I congratulate the 234,500 British Columbians who used the BC Smoking Cessation Program to try and quit.” I wonder if there has been a followup as to what percentage of those 234,500 people actually quit smoking, or was the product just sold on the street for five cents on the dollar?

Just like the free naloxone kits that are turning up in dumpsters with only the needle removed. In my opinion, this program is just another big waste of health care dollars! I guess this is Christy Clark’s idea of job creation.

It’s about time the government looked at the problems for what they are. When I was a smoker, there was a cigarette package ad that said, “Tobacco products can be just as addictive as heroin.”

Smoking is not illegal in Canada. However, to treat the addiction, laws have been passed that have made it illegal to smoke anywhere on hospital property, in bars and restaurants, or even in some parks.

Heroin, on the other hand, is totally illegal and the addiction is treated with “safe injection sites” and naloxone kits.

Currently the governments are spending millions of dollars and all they are doing is causing the problems, not curing them. It’s like posting an invitation Canada-wide, “Welcome to Vancouver and Victoria, BC, where booze and drugs are free and the weather is great.”

Lay down the law. First, convert institutions like Riverview Hospital and other similar buildings into rehab centres. To staff them, give notice to about 75 per cent of the health care bureaucracy that their job descriptions are changing. They have the option of transferring or quitting with no severance packages!

Then close all the safe injection sites and post signs that read, “Street drugs are laced with fentanyl. Use at your own risk. Anyone caught using illegal drugs will be charged.”

Then the long arm of the law should round up the addicts and give them the choice of rehab or jail. Pushers caught selling drugs need to have stiffer fines and a minimum five-year jail term.

If all of these changes were implemented, you can bet we would have safer streets, much less homelessness, and far less wait time at hospital emergency rooms.

Getting back to Terry Lake’s thoughts of raising the smoking age to 21, I have a much better idea. Let’s reduce all politicians’ terms in office to five years.

Look at all the money we would save by not having to pay all of those golden pensions!

Jim Lamberton

The Rambling Man

Blackpool, B.C.