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Tobacco consumption is an addiction similar to the addictions of alcohol, drugs, or even sex for that matter. To eradicate smoking is the most ferocious of battles. An addict of such habits cannot come out that easily. While efforts should be made to discourage such an addiction, I think such measures should be taken which at least keep the new generation spaced out. Then we know that the problem is not incessant and the focus of the approach can be centralized. This would make the job a lot easier.
The main culprits of spreading this addiction are the tobacco products manufacturing companies. They should maintain some code of conduct. But their profits are based on the sufferings of others. I am saying this because an addict doesn’t buy the product out of choice, but out of compulsion and addiction. The companies are to blame for deceptively promoting tobacco products. If at all any tobacco manufacturing company wants to promote its products, it should be based on facts. The hazardous side effects of smoking should be highlighted in their advertisement campaigns. A simple mention of “Smoking kills” or “Smoking is injurious to health” on the packs is not enough. Moreover, they should respect Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). But despite restrictions to entice teenagers, their marketing is such that the youngsters are allured to try out smoking. The “cowboy” campaign of Marlboro cigarettes is a paradigm. Due to this campaign, the sales of the company increased manifolds.
Whatever is said and done, the main responsibility rests on the government and society. The government should take stern measures to uproot this evil. Following are some of the initiatives that can be taken by the government.
Adolescence is the time when most of the habits are developed. This period is most crucial for the development of a human being’s personality. If certain evils are kept away from him throughout this period, the person may remain aloof from inculcating a habit of such things. In my opinion, the age limit for the consumption of tobacco products should be 21 years.
Public information campaigns
Society can participate at par with the government in such campaigns. Awareness about the perilous side effects of smoking should be spread at a waterfront level.
This policy has been tried by a few countries and the results were encouraging. The logic behind this, in my opinion, is that in adolescence, the children have limited pocket money, and if there is a price rise, they will be left with no option other than to reduce their smoking.
A total ban on advertisements
As mentioned earlier, the “cowboy” campaign gave such a masculine effect that people were mad about Marlboro. If at that time, the campaign would not have been approved by the government, today, for sure, the number of smoking addicts would have been much less. The government should learn from its past follies and ban any sort of advertisements regarding tobacco products.
More health warnings with an emotional touch
“Man is a social animal”. He is attached to his family and friends with so many emotional strings. If the health warnings touch these emotional strings, it will create a positive impact and people will try to keep themselves away from the hazards of smoking.
Ban on smoking in public places
Success in today’s world means progress. Progress means being on the run for better prospects. Better prospects can’t be achieved sitting at home. A person has to spend most of his time in public places; offices, railway platforms, bus stations, etc. So if smoking is banned in public places, automatically the quantum of smoking will be reduced.
Celebrities should be involved
People are greatly impressed by celebrities and their lifestyles. So if celebrities are involved in anti-smoking campaigns, I am sure it will help in achieving the motive to a great extent.
For addicts, quitting smoking is a battle that can be won by controlling the urge and by having strong willpower.