Tobacco – Not A Consumer Product
Tobacco addiction is
one of the worst addictions, with the number of tobacco users and
smokers having crossed the one billion-mark worldwide. What is a cause
for concern is that smoking has been and is being marketed as a
fashionable product; a product that is projected to be responsible for
the death of over half a million smokers this year.
Tobacco is being
promoted and projected as a consumer product. Not being aware of the
harmful effects of tobacco, the young generation is sucked into
believing that it is fashionable to smoke. At an influential age, the
youngsters lap up every advertisement targeted at them and take to
smoking without realizing the ill effects waiting to consume them. For
that matter, you may call tobacco a “consumer product”,
because it “consumes” your health and even your life, if
you are not that lucky.
It is unbelievable
that such a harmful product that causes addiction, sickness and even
painful death, is allowed to be marketed freely. Tobacco is among the
few anti-health products that are legally allowed to be sold as
consumer products. Such is the impact of the bombardment of cigarette
smoking advertisements that the warning label on every cigarette pack
is overlooked. It is the ‘it-can-never-happen-to-me' attitude
coupled with glamour attached to smoking, which is the undoing of most
Smoking is a serious
addiction and every addict needs help urgently to get out of the habit.
Tobacco reform laws need to be strict, in addition to heavy imposition
of taxes, which can discourage people from getting addicted. The idea
is to make the availability of tobacco and nicotine difficult. People
may argue that despite the ban on drugs, and their availability at
prohibitive prices drug trade continues to flourish. The counter to
such arguments is what could have been the situation today had the
consumption of drugs not been illegalized. We may have had to confront
a situation where every household had a drug addict or two.
sudden ban on smoking or use of nicotine is not a very practical
solution. This will leave the addicts high and dry. The entire process
has to be a well thought out exercise. Educational programs on the ill
effects of smoking need be developed, along with all possible
professional and emotional help to help people get out the addiction.
This is going to be a massive common exercise involving the state, the
corporate world, and of course, the common man.