Mr. Speaker, I fully support this bill. I believe tobacco use does in fact kill, and I want to share a story.
My mother recently had a very serious issue with her health. She had a cardiac arrest because of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, which was because of smoking. Unfortunately, she spent a considerable amount of time in hospital and is now suffering with brain damage. This is exactly the type of thing we expect to prevent. My mother is an aboriginal woman who believed strongly that it would not affect her health, but 67 years old is too young to be faced with this kind of thing.
She had a career that she loved and worked with young aboriginal people who were in jail, unfortunately. Many of them were getting contraband cigarettes laced with things like ecstasy. This is a harmful substance that is in fact killing our communities.
I ask my colleague what she would say to the parents of these children who pick up the contraband tobacco laced with something that essentially could kill them. What would she to say to those people, other than “Well, we should put more money into looking for police answers”?
The answer is to prevent contraband tobacco, to regulate it, to cut this demand, and to cut the supply when it is not regulated. This is the only way to go.
I would ask the member to respond directly to those families who will, unfortunately, see deaths because of tobacco, particularly contraband tobacco, in the near future.