Cigarette Smoking: Activities To Control It

By Lindsay M Fox

It is a well-known fact that
cigarette smoking is a very
dangerous habit; cigarettes have
been known to cut smokers' lives
by many years by increasing their
risk of cancer and heart disease.
Cigarette smoke is also
dangerous to the people who
inhale secondhand smoke. The
problem is being made even worse by the fact that many
people start smoking right from their teenage years.
These people subject themselves to toxic substances on
a daily basis over many years.

What is clear is that the government has a very important
role to play in controlling the sale of cigarettes and other
tobacco products; however it does not seem to be doing
enough to control this problem. The fact that huge
cigarette companies spend a great deal of money on
defeating various anti-tobacco legislation perhaps has a
role to play in this fact. Certain activities are very
effective at controlling the demand for these dangerous

1. Increase taxes: The number of people who buy
cigarettes will come down in response to increased
taxes. What is really interesting is that the biggest impact
will be on young people because they are the most price
conscious crowd of our population. The other benefit is
that government will be able to generate a large amount
of revenues in this manner.

2. Control access to cigarettes: Cigarettes and other
tobacco products should not be easily available,
especially to young smokers. If smokers have to take
extra trouble to get their pack of cigarettes then it is likely
that they will not pick up the habit as easily.

3. Make it difficult to use cigarettes: Cigarette smokers
should have to think twice before they light up. The way
to do this is by restricting areas where people can smoke
cigarettes. Many public spaces have restrictions on
smoking cigarettes in their premises but these
restrictions need to expand to cover larger areas of our

4. Spread information about the dangers: People,
especially teenagers, need to be told about the dangers
of cigarette smoking. This is a very dangerous habit that
can have very lethal consequences to smokers as well
as people who breathe in secondhand smoke. Lung and
oral cancers are very common amongst long-term
smokers and so is heart disease. Young people need
counseling in order to counter the attractions of smoking
(it is perceived as being a cool or sexy thing to do).

5. Make help available to people who want to quit: People
who want to stop smoking (this includes the
overwhelming majority of smokers) should be given the
help they need. This is a highly addictive habit that very
few people can get rid of without proper assistance.
Counseling, hypnotherapy and nicotine replacement
therapies have been found to be very effective to control
tobacco use.

Activities to control cigarette smoking need to be
conducted with a great deal of care because the anti-
smoking lobby has to deal with a very powerful and
determined rival. Tobacco companies make too much
money to permit any measures that will curtail their
sales. Cigarette smoking amongst young people should
get particular emphasis because this is a particularly
vulnerable section of the population.
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