June 01, 2015

Alberta's menthol tobacco ban: Should "morbidly obese" Health Minister be telling others how to live?

Ezra LevantRebel Commander

I'm trying to make sense of the flavoured tobacco ban just put in place in Alberta by the new NDP majority.

Is this really the most pressing issue in the province today?

And why ban menthol cigarettes, which research shows are preferred by African-American smokers? Why not ban all tobacco products if they're unhealthy? Why the paternalistic, nanny state focus on the flavoured kind. That seems weird.

Then again, the answer is obvious: tax revenue.


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commented 2015-06-01 19:07:40 -0400
I never knew the NDP was musically inclined — looks like they’re already starting a “banned”…
commented 2015-06-01 19:04:37 -0400
To Terry and Mel;

Yes, Ezra insults people, he offends them, and he generally pisses them off. He sometimes riles these people to the point of being accused of slander or libel, or of being the target of their rebukes and lawsuits. Yes, he is often like a bull in a china shop but he, I believe, gives as honest an effort at telling not just the truth, but more of the whole truth than usually can be found within the rest of today’s media.

An important thing for me is that the people he pisses off are almost exactly the same people who piss me off. They can be murdering terrorists, unrepentant or otherwise. They can be politicians who steal but tell us (their employer) we should not steal. They can be any public figures or judges who behave badly but have no compunction about telling us (their employer) how we should behave. They can be anyone who thinks they are something that they’re not. I could go on and on, but my point is that what Ezra does for me, is to say to those people exactly what I want them to hear. Not only that, but in doing so he bears the brunt of their wrath, rebukes and lawsuits, and thereby protects and shields me from their attempts at revenge.

I for one owe Ezra a debt that I fear I shall never be able to repay.
commented 2015-06-01 19:01:58 -0400
John C. Matthews, I ope there is something to salvage after 4 years to. I looked it up and it is possible for Notley to push the election to 5 years if she chose to do so.
commented 2015-06-01 18:58:06 -0400
Ezra, I am not sure that they banned menthol cigarettes because they wanted to stop black people from smoking as you implied. I doubt they really looked at the demographic that blacks tend to buy menthol more than white. Ezra, I tend to agree with you quite a lot, but I think you are stretching that correlation just a bit much.
commented 2015-06-01 18:34:58 -0400
Spot on Ezra! People in glass houses (or plus size, full figure clothing) should look at themselves before throwing stones. Typical Leftie idealism and nanny state ways of dealing with things. Yup, the people are too stupid to looks after themselves and you know that is probably right. The people were too stupid to elect you to run their province. Ontar-we-owe (where I live) got theirs with a bunch of thieves. Albertans have got theirs with a bunch of idiots.
commented 2015-06-01 18:29:56 -0400
They ban menthol and leave the tobacco. By the looks of her she should be ordering smaller doors be put on all the fast food joints.
commented 2015-06-01 18:25:08 -0400
I think it’s just great that our wonderful new NDP government should have a health minister with her own lifestyle-related health challenges to nanny us. They may be out to wreck our economy [so glad I don’t work in the oil patch] but at least they’ll provide us with constantly renewable resource of big fat targets [cough…sorry] large easy targets for ironic humour.
commented 2015-06-01 18:19:52 -0400
Hmmm … I think the real story is who has it in for this woman by giving her the health portfolio. She must be well aware how she looks and what people will think. A cruel joke, I say.
commented 2015-06-01 17:18:01 -0400
Dear Mel BROOKS and Terry RUDDEN, I have news for you both: if you feel so incensed by Ezra’s commentary, you can always ban yourselves from commenting on this very board. I imagine nobody has ever forced you into reading and commenting on an obviously conservative site. Of course, you, as everybody else, are entitled to your own opinions; nevertheless, the etiquette should oblige you to be respectful towards the journalists and other participants in the commenting section. There are plenty of other on-line news sites where you can run your mouth afoul. Have some decency, please!
commented 2015-06-01 16:43:22 -0400
It’s the schizophrenia of the socialist left that really bothers me. They want to control our fat, salt, sugar, portion size, door knobs, etc. for “our own good” because we’re incapable of making wise decisions regarding our own health and well being, but on the other hand they refuse any restrictions on abortion, euthanasia, Dr. assisted suicide, “safe” injection sites, legalized marijuana, etc. If that isn’t schizophrenic, I don’t know what is. And on a side note, yes Terry, Ezra should be criticizing other broadcasters if he believes other broadcasters need criticizing, and they should be free to criticize him right back. All’s fair as long as it doesn’t cross over into the area of being libelous, and that can be decided in court (though it is getting more difficult to find an impartial judge…. more employment for lawyers, I guess). I agree that Ezra does sometimes go overboard in stating his case, but I find that usually manifests itself in his emphasis rather than in misrepresenting the facts. I’d much rather have reporters who do the leg work and investigate thoroughly, and feel passionate about their subject, than have reporters who only report on the parts of the story that supports the party line, and never even check whether or not that is true. Yes, Ezra has a bias; we all do. I don’t always agree with him but I definitely want to hear what he has to say. It’s also obvious, Terry, that you have a bias. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, mind you, but it is pretty obvious.
commented 2015-06-01 16:32:30 -0400
Forget flavored cigarettes, she should be banning KFC and Biscuits and Gravy and the like; at least in her own diet. And, note to the Minister…..buy a comb. If this is the NDP’s way of increasing cig sales in SK & B.C. not to mention the underground Indian cigarette market, they are right on the money. No worries though as they will likely increase their taxes on regular cigs to make up their shortfall, and distribute the pain around. I think I’m going to start up a menthol mail order with Amazon.ca and get in on the action.
commented 2015-06-01 16:18:25 -0400
MEL BROOKS you can get away with calling Ezra a douche bag, he is classy enough not to stoop down to your level and comment, but i can, and i will.
Ezra is right, she is overweight and as a health minister she should be setting an example and eating healthy,
Obesity is a big drain on the health care system, she chooses to eat unhealthy, but dictates to others.
I think you are " douche bag", Ezra has more class in his little toe than you could ever have.
Keep your stupid comments to yourself , and just go away, no one cares to hear your silly negative comments about Ezra.
If you are going to disagree at least be intelligent about it and not sound like a 10 year old throwing a tantrum
commented 2015-06-01 15:37:54 -0400
Alberta, Alberta, Alberta, these next four years are NOT going to be pretty. Just hope you have something to salvage in 2019.
commented 2015-06-01 15:07:47 -0400
And so in comes the menthol shipments from BC and Sask. Just another black market.

Good job Alberta socialist pigs – and check out the oinker for the Ministry of Health. ZOINKS!!!! There’s a few boxes of ice-cream that have passed that gullet.
commented 2015-06-01 15:04:32 -0400
BAN! BAN! BAN! (she say’s, right after her 4th Big Mac!)
Just wondering here but I think in Alberta, dentists must be banned as well…
commented 2015-06-01 15:01:51 -0400
It looks like rain… I think I just felt the first drop.
commented 2015-06-01 14:41:29 -0400
Hahahaha…this is just the start, when the NDP are done with Alberta it will be a have not province and become a third world hellhole like Ontario….bravo people of Alberta, the schools have worked, they have turned you into brain dead morons deserving of what is coming…congrats…
commented 2015-06-01 14:39:36 -0400
This month they ban menthol next month they ban king size the next moth they ban 25 packs then the next month they ban selling in cartons then the next month they ban buying more than one pack at a time then the next month they make you get a licence to buy them then the next month they ban smoking in you car then the next month they ban smoking in your home then the next month they ban you from smoking on your property and then the next month they MAKE IT A CRIME TO SMOKE having a good time Albertan’s.
Just wait there’s more to come LETS SEE WHAT MORE THEY CAN BAN how about guns ammunition bows and arrows fire places out door Bar-B-Q s school lunches open fires gas lawn mowers tobogganing just let your imagination go the more stupid the better increasing the budget on global warming stopping oil exploring and development increasing your hydro bill (er windmill bill). The left will never stop until we reach ZERO CO2 and these dumb lefties don’t realize they have to kill every living thing including themselves HAVE FUN ALBERTA
commented 2015-06-01 14:37:09 -0400
“Should “morbidly obese” Health Minister be telling others how to live?"
I don’t know. Should Ezra Levant, with multiple charges of libel either pending or admitted to, a string of rebukes from the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, and a violation of professional standards finding from the Law Society of Alberta, be criticizing other broadcasters?
commented 2015-06-01 14:31:19 -0400
The trolls are gonna get ya now Ezra! LOL
commented 2015-06-01 14:28:25 -0400
Is there any socialist government that does NOT believe it knows better how to run your life than you do?

Being an ex-smoker, all I can say about this proposed legislation is, “Good luck!” All they’ll do is create a black market!
commented 2015-06-01 14:22:52 -0400
This is why I love Ezra so much….he SAYS what we are all thinking ;) 100% true words.
commented 2015-06-01 14:12:02 -0400
The “New Dummocratic Party” has spoken! Just because the nannies don’t like it, doesn’t mean it won’t be on the market.
commented 2015-06-01 14:08:51 -0400
All she will do is give the underground economy a huge shot in the arm. If people want their tobacco they’ll get it any way they can.