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About 400,000 Americans die every year because of health problems due to smoking. 1.5 million people quit smoking a year, but 50 million keep on going. Those 50 million people are addicted to nicotine. Nicotine addiction is when a person psychologically, physically, and socially has a compulsive need for nicotine. There is a persistent craving for the nicotine product. Out of all the people who smoke, 80% started before the age of 21. This means that you are more likely to start smoking as a teenager than any other age. It would follow that teenagers are more susceptible to the addiction.
How do we prevent teens from staring to smoke. I feel that prevention starts in the home. Teach your kids about how harmful tobacco is from an early age. If you suspect your son or daughter of smoking take it seriously. Stop them before it?s too late. Teaching of the effects of cigarette smoking is a must. Tell them that about 400,00 Americans die every year because of health problems due to smoking. The second part of prevention takes place in our government. Stricter fines for sales to minors would help out allot. If there were also laws about underage smoking in public more teens would think twice about smoking. In the end all of this would help deplete the smoking population.
Once a teen is addicted, at such a young age breaking the addiction is more difficult. Teenagers are adolescents and their minds are still developing. The task of breaking an addiction requires a mature, responsible and dedicated intellect. It is for this reason that smoking in teens should be treated like any other drug addiction.
Alcohol and drug addiction is treated with a very controlled and monitored therapeutic program. High schools should run programs that involve counseling and group sessions for cigarette addicts. Emphasis has to be placed on self-responsibility and behavior modification. As with drug addicts recovery has to be an on going process.
One out of every six deaths each year are due to smoking. Why smoke and raise your chances of contracting Emphysema, Lung Cancer, chronic Bronchitis, or one of the many other smoking related illnesses.
Canada is still correcting unjust treatment of our Aboriginal citizens, and the end is not yet in sight. However, Canada has a better record, than another former British colony, South Africa. For 250 years, South African treatment of its original peoples, was an international shame.
“Apartheid” meaning ’separateness’ was the law and the policy of South Africa that defined an evil, racist system of denying the rights of non-white people in the country.
Apartheid created a nation where a minority of white citizens enjoyed prosperity and health, by dominating 5 times as many non-whites. The whites kept the non-whites poor, malnourished, poorly educated and without even the basic rights and freedoms that all Canadians are guar-anteed.
Apartheid – ’separateness’ – made South Africa separate – shunned by much of the civilized world as a police state as hateful as any in world history for anyone but white citizens..
Apartheid laws ’sorted’ people in terms of racial origin, to ensure white citizens got “the best land, the best jobs, the best social services; all other races got the leftovers” according to a 1989 Canadian Government report,
South Africa has changed in just a few years… the first election to allow all citizens to vote for a new government and a new system came took place only in 1994, after decades of racial injustice.
That first free, all-race election chose a black man, Nelson Manila, elected President of South Africa… after he spent 26 years in jail, for opposing the ‘apartheid’ of the former white supremacist government.
South Africa’s reform came very slowly and painfully, after many years of widespread injustice, racial discrimination, bloodshed, and violence against its non-white citizens.
Non-violent resistance, combined with organized underground sabotage and terrorism by the African National Congress in 1961. ANC leader Nelson Manila was sentenced to life in prison for sabotage in 1964. Government crackdowns defeated the underground… until a rebellion in Soweto was crushed by the South African forces with heavy loss of life, in 1976.
An unsuccessful bid to invade neighbouring Angola at the same time led to a recession in South Africa, for which the government was blamed.
IT BEGAN WITH THE BRITISH
The problem began 250 years ago. The first European (white) settlers came to South Africa in the 17th century, and began treating non-white people as sub-human. Black Africans had lived there for thousands of years.
The discovery of wealth, especially gold and diamonds, brought the might of the British Empire to South Africa, and the racist policies that denied non-white their basic human rights, grew stronger.
“White Power” took hold, when Britain handed over power to the white minority of South Africa in 1910. The whites immediately began writing laws to guarantee their control. Non-whites were not allowed to vote.
In 1947, another white supremacist government was elected. announcing an official policy of ‘apartheid’ or separation, with more unjust laws. The nightmare ended more than 40 years later. The white supremacists saw they had lost their power to control. The huge non-white majority was able to vote for the first time.
A United Nations report, written during the 1960s, begins by saying the issue had been discussed by the UN since it was formed in 1946.
The report mentions old complaints filed by both India and Pakistan, about South African laws that discriminated against South African citi-zens of Indian or Pakistani decent.
The UN report does not mention Mahatma Ghandi. Ghandi, a British-educated lawyer born in India, moved to South Africa in 1893, a century before the end of apartheid. Ghandi lived there for twenty-one years, protesting the racial discrimination he faced. Seeking his legal rights as a British subject in British-ruled South Africa, Ghandi organized “civil disobedience” protests against racial discrimination, for example, a strike among Indian miners.
Ghandi won only minor reforms in South Africa, despite being arrested many times. Ironically, Ghandi won British medals, as a medic during the Boer War and the Zulu Rebellion, in South Africa. Ghandi left South Africa, without solving its racial problems. He went home to India, in the 1920s, where he led non-violent protests to end British rule over In-dia and Pakistan.
British colonial rule was responsible for the problems of Aboriginal people in Canada, India and South Africa.
A SHAMEFUL RECORD: CANADA AND THE WORLD
So-called ‘world opinion’ officially opposed South African racism. The actual changes came at least partly because many average people would not buy things from South Africa… an attack on white South African wallets.
Although the United Nations urged other countries not to do business with South Africa, many countries did not support the policy fully. Can-ada officially opposed apartheid, but Canadian purchases from South Af-rica grew. In 1970, Canada imported $46 Million Dollars worth of goods from South Africa.
By 1980, Canada buying had increased to over $388 Million dollars. For example, the Manitoba Government ignored apartheid, and bought South African wine to sell in Liquor Control Commission stores. At that time, doing business with South Africa still supported the evils of apartheid – even though South Africa bought much less from Canada, in return
Real change began slowlt when a new Prime Minister, P. W. Botha, was picked in 1978 to try to preserve white power, by ‘modernizing’ apart-heid, easing some laws, with a new South African Constitution in 1984.
When that proved to be too little, too late, Botha held a historic meeting with African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela (who was still imprisoned until 1990). Botha was forced out of office, and F.W. de Clerk became Prime Minister in 1989, to begin the official end of apart-heid.
Mandela and de Klerk shared the 1993 Nobel Peace Prize, for working together to end the civil rights abuse of non-white South Africans. They organized the 1994 all-race election of a new government under Man-dela. de Klerk was a member of the new government, helped write a new Constitution in 1996, and then resigned to lead the official Opposition.
In a 1960s report, the UN said South Africa “uprooted thousands of families from their homes, and expelled thousands of Africans to distant reserves. It has arrested and convicted hundreds of thousands of persons under pass laws and other racially discriminatory measures. It has ex-cluded non-whites from new categories of employment. It has instituted a reign of terror against opponents of Apartheid…”
South Africa thumbed its nose at the United Nations protests for years. In a 1963 speech, Prime Minister Verwoerd said, “We want to keep South Africa White… keeping it White can only mean one thing, namely White domination, not ‘leadership’, not ‘guidance’ but ‘control’, ’su-premacy’..”.
COULD WORLD PUBLIC OPINION HAVE ENDED APARTHEID?
A December 1998 Reuter news agency report says the City of Los Angeles added itself to a growing list of American cities, taking direct action against another country accused of human rights abuse. The action of the US cities adds economic muscle to American public oposition to foreign governments’ human rights abuses.
December 16, 1998 Web posted at: 12:02 a.m. EST (0502 GMT)
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday
banned the city from contracting with companies doing business with
Myanmar, the former Burma, whose government has been accused of
human rights violations.
In unanimously approving the ordinance despite opposition from oil giant
Unocal, Los Angeles joined 22 other U.S. cities, including New York,
which have passed similar measures.
“We are saying that the fruit of oppression is unfit for our consumption,” said
City Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg.
Under the ordinance, America’s second largest city will be prohibited from
buying goods and services from those companies doing business with
In a statement, Unocal, which has a natural gas pipeline in Myanmar, said
the council had no right to pass such a law.
“Under the U.S. Constitution, foreign policy is the province of the federal
government, not dozens of U.S. cities and municipalities,” the statement said.
“By this action, the city council has moved beyond its legal authority.”
The unhappy response of the American company, to the loss of business from major
cities, shows public opinion can have real-world benefits, for powerless citizens of
foreign countries with oppressive governments.
Canadians opposed to the racism and civil rights abuses of the apartheid government of South Africa could have helped, by pressuring our politicians to cut off profitable business dealings with South Africa, many years ago.
THE OLD REALITY: APARTHEID SOUTH AFRICA
Under South African law, people of African descent, 85% of the popula-tion was crowded into about 13% of the country’s land. White people owned 87% of the land – although whites were only 15% of the popula-tion. Even South Africa admitted there were twice as many people on the reserves, as could possibly earn a bare living there.
South African law cleared the non-whites from so- called ‘Black Spots’ -
parts of the country where blacks owned land. It is estimated that more than three million people of African, Indian, Pakistani, Chinese and mixed race were forced off land where they had lived for generations.
To Canada’s shame, South African officials came to Canada to learn how
our reserve system was operated… and Canada taught them.
South African reserves, or ‘townships’ were tiny areas, surrounded and separated by white South African territory, a policy of ‘divide and con-quer’, setting people of one racial group against the others.
Canada guarantees every citizen the right to vote. Canada guarantees “Equality before and under law and the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination, and in particular with-out discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, re-ligion, sex, age or mental or physical disability”
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms also specifically adds a guarantee that these rules cannot be used to reduce the existing rights of our Aboriginal people,. including Indian, Meets and Inuit Canadians.
The laws meant that people of African race were arrested, jailed, fined, even whipped, (as many as 24,595 people in one year) for violating Pass Laws, which controlled where they could live or work. Canada promises we have the right to “move to and take up residence in any province” and the right to “pursue the gaining of a livelihood in any province”.
Black people in South Africa could ‘legally’ be arrested and jailed for at least three months, without being charged with anything, or having a trial.
In Canada, our Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees: -
Anyone who is arrested must be promptly told the reason for the arrest, Guarantees availability of a lawyer without delay,
Guarantees an arrested person is innocent until proven guilty,
Guarantees a fair, public hearing, and
Guarantees release on fair, reasonable bail, unless a court says other-wise.
Those guarantees are stronger than any other law in Canada, and are backed up with the right to the process of Habeus Corpus, which means a
prisoner must be brought into a court and set free, if the arrest was not justified.
Habeus Corpus is a basic British legal right – but not for non-whites in apartheid South Africa.
The University of Capetown Institute of Criminology surveyed 176 peo-ple arrested by the South African authorities. 83 per cent said they were physically abused, 75% reported they were beaten, or assaulted with im-plements, and 25% said they were tortured with electric shocks, while in government custody.
Canada says no-one can be subjected to “any cruel and unusual treatment or punishment”. That means, punishment must not be “so excessive as to outrage standards of decency and surpass all rational bounds of treat-ment or punishment”. It means that an accused Canadian who is “not a menace to society” can’t be locked up for an indefinite time, which did happen in South Africa.
The South African government said many professions and skilled jobs….were for whites only. Africans could not be truck drivers or bar-tenders or construction workers. In fact, Africans could not even join a labour union, or attend a protest rally.
Canada law guarantees both “freedom of peaceful assembly” and “free-dom of association”.
Education was a weapon of racism… separate Black schools trained stu-dents for only the low-income jobs they were allowed to have. Earnings showed the difference: White people earned about 10 times as much as Africans. 25 African children died for each white child that died, a fact blamed on poverty, malnutrition and outright starvation.
There was a grim difference in medical care…. under apartheid in South Africa, there was one doctor available for every 400 white people…… black people had the services of one doctor for every 40,000 people.
The death rate for African children was among the highest in the world… the death rate of white children was among the lowest anywhere.
THE NEW REALITY: NON-DISCRIMINATORY SOUTH AFRICA
After the 1994 election, the new government announced free medical care for all people. The plan was to chop spending on the South African armed forces which had been grinding down non-whites, and to collect a new “wealth tax” on wealthy (usually white) South Africans.
South Africa must still make many changes, to make equality a reality. Finding the money to pay for needed change is still a major problem. Finding the skilled professionals and building new facilities are essen-tial.
The worst shortage of all, is time. Making things right takes time – longer than many South African non-whites are willing to wait. The changes should have begun centuries earlier, but were barred by racism.
South Africans aren’t content to be patient, waiting to eliminate starva-tion, poor public health, inadequate education and a lack of decent jobs.
The new government is working hard, to deliver on its promises. There are fears that unavoidable delays could mean renewed problems in this still – troubled land.
Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
Government of Canada
Snow’s Annotated Criminal Code (of Canada)
The Carswell Company
The 1997 Canadian Global Almanac
World Book Encyclopedia
World Book Inc.
Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia
Grolier Interactive Inc.
Canada in action – Canada Against Apartheid
External Affairs and International Trade Canada
Apartheid and the Freedom Charter
Anonymous Author & Publisher
Report of the Special Committee on the Policies of Apartheid
of the Government of the Republic of South Africa
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