A specific issue I have with immigration

I have been living down south for quite a while now, and I live in a community with a increasingly large immigrant population.  It’s awesome: great food, the people are super friendly, and the chicks are incredibly hot.

I have one issue with new immigrants to our country, the country of universal healthcare - I dont believe that new immigrants to this country should be permitted to enter our healthcare system if they smoke cigarettes. It is surprising to me how many smoke cigarettes.


Its hard to type this and not sound racist, but I’m totally not. What do you guys think?

I think thats a fantastic idea. While we are at it we should deny healthcare to immigrants who eat fast food, drink alcohol, drive cars, ride in planes. After all all those things can kill you/injure you too right.

Yeah I think before we go getting at them, maybe we should work on the population that is here already.

I’ve done my part. I quit smoking, quit eating unhealthy (havent had fast food in a year). When will the rest of you lazy smoking fat fucks join me?  :sunglasses: :sunglasses: :confused:

Well I don’t smoke.  I do eat some fast food.  Crap, if I have to give up beer then there’s no point to life.  Now where did I put my stairmaster? :smiley:

It’s racist when you consider that a lot of people born here are also smokers. 

You’re surrounded by immigrants, so you tend to associate smoking with immigrants.  If you were surrounded by aboriginals, you’d associate smoking with them.  If you were in Toronto, you’d swear that Canadian-born Italians were the only people smoking.  If you were in Quebec city, you’d be telling us that all these French speakers are smokers.  And, if you were in Newfoundland, you’d insist that all Newfoundlanders were smokers.

Get the point?  Yeah, it’s racist to insist that immigrants not smoke, when Canadians born here are smokers too.  I just spend the morning in our own Prince Rupert hospital, and there were a bunch of smokers outside the front entrance.  They weren’t immigrants, either.

Should non-immigrants be able to use our health care system if they smoke?  That’s about 20-25% of Canadians.

I’m pretty sure I saw some study that found that a large immigrant community will actually increase health indicators of a population, as recent immigrants tend to be healthier than the native-born population. 

Google:  google.com/search?q=healthy+ … ect+canada

You’ll find that though immigrants start healthier than the native-born Canadian population, they lose this the longer they’re in Canada.  I guess they take on bad Canadian habits, including smoking.

So you’re way off the mark, Molten, maybe you need to experience a bit more of Canada :wink:

Thats very true I guess MiG, about my perspective on it.

It’s really hard not to sound like a racist or elitist when taking a stand on something like this in my opinion, I would love for our health care system to be ecumenical, but some aspects of it really bother me.

Even in my life I know there are activities I partake in that others would find unreasonably risky to life and limb - however these activites are not the #1 preventable cause of death in Canada.

Doesnt it seem like when the #1 preventable cause of death in Canada is something completely voluntary to subject yourself to, that we should let these people who volunteer themselves into this position take full responsibility for their choice?

I just realized I cant formulate proper sentences anymore… and this thread scks.

No, this thread is a good one, if you drop the immigrant thing.

I know a lot of people (doctors included) who think that smokers shouldn’t receive free health care.  I’m not sure how I feel about it – I was a smoker for a long time, and it was a really fricken hard thing to stop.  I think the last 5 years that I was a smoker, I didn’t want to be one. 

I’ve heard a lot of stories of doctors telling smoking patients that they will refuse treatment if they don’t stop.  That’s a step in the right direction.

The only issue I have with excluding smokers from public healthcare, is where do you draw the line?

As soon as someone quits smoking, they’re back on the bus? What about if I eat red meat and drink a case of beer every day? Smoke marijuana? Take prescription anti-depressants?

Or as molten universe suggested, what about if I’m into rock-climbing, skydiving, or motocross? Full contact ice hockey?

I don’t think Molten Universe is as far off the mark as you make it sound Mig and actually is closer to the mark.

Here is material supporting Molten, jscms.jrn.columbia.edu/cns/2006- … ansmokers/

and here is material supporting MIG, lungusa.org/site/pp.asp?c=dvLUK9O0E&b=36001, although this is about Asian Americans not immigrants, and the last post specifically makes referance to the high numbers of smokers in Asian countries.

Here is some info on smokers in Canada, lungusa.org/site/pp.asp?c=dvLUK9O0E&b=36001, where approx 16% of of Canadians smoke.

I think Molten has some validity to his point, that Canadians should not assume what should be the burden of countries that immigrants are leaving, however it would hard to put realistic fair provisions in place that meet Canadian values (my opinion).  Plus with a declining population, the economics of labour force may and will likely outweigh the economics of health.

I think as our population and hence labourforce continues to decline, issues like this one around immigration will become hotter topics of disccusion.

Right, so when you show up for your free health care, you doctor tells you that you either stop drinking, or he won’t treat you for liver disease.  You stop rock climbing, or he won’t approve the free physio since this is your 4th broken limb. 

I think that’s the right approach.  “What?  You have trouble breathing?  This is your 10th visit?  Either you stop smoking, or don’t bother coming back.”

So we should homogenize ourselves? Everybody should eat the same foods, perform the same activities, recreate in the same manner?

[quote=“CC Dynamo”]
I think Molten has some validity to his point, that Canadians should not assume what should be the burden of countries that immigrants are leaving, however it would hard to put realistic fair provisions in place that meet Canadian values (my opinion).  Plus with a declining population, the economics of labour force may and will likely outweigh the economics of health.[/quote]

Unfortunately, if you read more of these studies, you’ll see that what happens is that immigrants do “meet Canadian values” and start smoking and eating crap and being unhealthy.

Now I put the “meet Canadian values” in quotes, of course, because most people mean English values, not Italian-Canadian values, nor Portuguese-Canadian values.  I don’t know what you meant by it, though.  I know my parents have very Canadian values, and I’m sure yours do too, but they’re probably not English values.

Edit: sorry CC Dynamo, I misread and misinterpreted your comment.  I’m an idiot, and you’re totally right here.  I thought you meant that immigrants should adopt Canadian values, but that’s not what you said at all.  Sorry about that.  I’ll leave my comments above, but on reading your post again, I agree with you.

Mig,by Canadian values, i meant that if we were to put in provisions on immigration they would they would be rational and fair, (ie. you would likely never see “no immigrants allowed who smoke”, for precisely the reasons that you have brought up).

My main issue on this thread is that I have problems believing that Immigrants smoke less or the same as Canadians as Molten suggested, and he was disagreed upon.

In terms of overall health I’m not too sure that even if immigrants pick up our bad habits that their health will be less than if they stayed in said country (the assumption in this sentance coming from myself).

Also, i’m assuming Molten is talking about the large Asian contigent of immigrants hence the reference material I posted.

When immigrating you sometimes are required to take a medical examine.  If the doc finds the slightest thing wromg with ya …then Buh Bye.
Canada needs to increase its immgrating numbers as we are not sustaing population growth on our own.
I am a first generation Canadian and Iam proud of my heritage …and prouder to be Canadian.  Thats what happens to most immigrants.

See I’ve been out of alberta for over a year now and I guess I’ve forgotten the prevalence of smoking there by non ethnic (long term immigrants? :wink: ) people.

Seems funny, smoking rate in alberta is 17.7% vs 12.6 for BC.

I guess my argument goes right out the window when, if we assumed Nunavut was the least immigrated-to of the Canadian provinces and territories and then most ethnically “canadian”, we see a smoking rate of 46.1% of the population.

Actually Eso, sky diving would probably have a pretty slim level of patient care involved with it, shovels are pretty cheap.


I’ll admit that I have not read each post in this thread completely so I may be duplicating what has already been mentioned. 

I do not see the molten universe’s point as racist.  He does not mention race, he mentions immigrants.  Immigrants come from a variety of ethnic backgrounds.  I do beleive that he may have a point when it comes to over burdening our health care system.  As far as I know, those wishing to immigrate to our country already have to meet many requirements regarding health and finances.  Perhaps ensuring that they do not have any high risk bad habits is not too much to ask for.  How to screen and test people for issues such as this may be an tough one to crack though.

Those that live here and have these bad habits are different.  Many have grown up through the years where smoking was allowed everywhere and was not just socially acceptable, it was cool.  Many of these people are victims as far as I’m concerned.  Tobacco companies had some pretty good marketing and loaded their product with all sorts of chemicals which were and are highly addictive.  It has taken a while but our society is changing.  Smoking is no longer as acceptable as it once was and governments have intervened and are making it more difficult to sell and smoke cigarettes.  We should not bail out on those in our own society who need or may need healthcare because of years of smoking.

We should realize though that other countries may not have legislated such changes in smoking regulations and may be more or less, years behind us in dealing with the issue.  Perhaps those who live in other countries and smoke should be a burden on the health system of the government who has failed to modernize smoking laws. 

Wait what? you’ve got to be kidding me.  Stop rock climbing because this is your 4th broken limb… You like walking your dog right? you get hit by a car 4 times, stop walking your dog or i wont treat you. Sound fair? 

You have a series of unfortunate car accidents (not your fault), stop driving your car or I wont treat you.

I just quit smoking a month ago, how will the doctor know that? is he going to monitor my behavior to see if I have a puff of a cigarette? 

How about this one, the doctor doesn’t agree with birth control for religious reasons and therefore refuses treatment of the patient until they stop taking it. Thats where this road leads and you only need to look south to see it.

The whole thing is ridiculous  and there is no fair way to judge who deserves treatment and who doesn’t.  In fact the primary basis of our health care system is that EVERY Canadian citizen deserves equal access to health care. 

This is opening up a whole can of worms that we don’t want to open and you should know better.

You’re right, I should know better.

I guess the difference between smoking/rock climbing/juggling swords and walking the dog is that the one activity is dangerous, and you choose to to do it.  Getting hit by a car isn’t a choice.

But you’re right, it’s a can of worms we don’t want to open.  One of the basic principles of universal health care is the universal part.