Ontario Lung Association introduces the Toker, a superhero fighting for lungs against cannabis
The Ontario Lung Association is a group in Canada, mostly funded by Health Canada, that tries to spread awareness and information about lung diseases. The group started with tuberculosis, but is changing with the times, apparently — they’ve introduced a new superhero called the Toker, targeted at trying to tell the public about the dangers of smoking cannabis.
You can read through what the Toker stands for on the group’s page — mainly, according to the short 30 second cartoons created for the program, the Toker basically wants you to know that cannabis smoke can be harmful. Or at least not “riskless,” which is what they claim is the myth people currently believe. They do have some scare facts posted — they suggest cannabis has “30% more tar than a typical cigarette” and “500% more hydrogen cyanide than a typical cigarette” — but those claims aren’t that well supported (are they talking about blunts or joints? Does smoking from a bong or a dab rig change those totals?), and they don’t seem focused on trying to stop cannabis smoking, just to let people know that if you smoke, there might be consequences.
That’s true for smoking anything, though — any time you have stuff going into your lungs, of course it won’t be good for them. So in that sense, the Toker’s message is fine — if you want to avoid the troubles of smoking, you can try vaping or edibles, or just smoke as little as you need to. We’re not sure if creating cartoons is the most effective way to get that point across, but there you go. The Toker currently just has one sequence posted so far, but apparently there are more coming, and the program is going to be shown at universities across Canada. Hopefully it will at least accomplish its goal of raising awareness around the issue, even if “the Toker” isn’t quite a super success.