Canadian Arts – Weaning Off Tobacco Money

Visible sponsorships of cultural events by tobacco companies (read: money for advertising) is over. “Whatever the individual solutions, the cultural community is largely resigned to the loss of tobacco money. In the past, some arts administrators did question the ethics of tobacco sponsorships; many others wondered why the federal government allowed itself to benefit from cigarette taxes but wouldn’t let the arts take its share of the blood money. It’s been a difficult debate in which anyone with a doctrinaire position, whether it was in favour of commercial free speech or rabidly anti-smoking, didn’t seem to be addressing the complexity of the issue in an age when governments know smoking is deadly but also recognize they can’t criminalize it.”