Mr. Speaker, I think that is an excellent question and I thank the hon. member for asking it.
Before I came here, as a physician I was passionate about smoking cessation and anti-smoking legislation and used every single tool in the arsenal I could think of to stop smoking.
What is interesting is that I saw this from the perspective of a physician. When I came to the House of Commons I realized there are many perspectives to legislation and to things we do as a government and as politicians. I realized what we had done by increasing our tobacco taxes to the extent that what we now had was a prohibition versus what was happening in the United States, was we were having the smuggling of cigarettes and young people were beginning to smoke not only because cigarettes were cheap but because they were now smoking something that was exciting. It was a smuggled product, something they should not be using. This presented a totally different perspective and point of view to the whole issue.
We have to try in everything we do to balance effects and counterbalance negative effects. It is like when we push something on one side, we give on the other side. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Balancing those actions in the best interest of the health of Canadians is what we were talking about when we looked at bringing down the tobacco taxes.
However, something very important, which the hon. member did not mention, is that it was the first time a country had slapped a health tax on a manufacturer and put the money back into health. That was one of the things I fought for as well before I came here.