Sunday, 25 May 2008

Government plans new anti-smoking measures

. Health minister Alan Johnson has said that the government is considering a ban on cigarette vending machines, removing cigarettes from display in shops and outlawing the sale of packets of 10. He said that he would be launching a consultation paper on new anti-smoking measures next week.

In remarks quoted on Reuters he said that;

"Banning vending machines where you can't have any control over the age of the person who's buying it -- it happened in many other European countries a long time ago with startling results.

"Whether you should be able to buy 10 cigarettes or whether you should insist that you can only buy 20, that's an issue we need to look at very closely."

I have to confess a vested interest - I smoke. Politically smokers are pariahs subjected to heavy taxation and now their rights are increasingly under attack. It simply isn't fashionable to stand up for their rights and that is why it has to be done, besides Johnson's logic is fuzzy. Going from packs of 20 to packs of 10 is one of the ways that smokers cut down their intake as a possible step towards quitting so rather than encouraging them on that path the government now wants to outlaw the packs of 10.

It is true that vending machines can't regulate a person's age but they are generally placed in age-prohibitive places like bars - at the very least they should be allowed to remain there. Displaying cigarettes is neither here nor there, teenagers are more likely to be influenced by peers or parents rather than a shops display window. The government would be far better advised to spend it's time and money on serious anti-smoking programmes which are educationally preventative or else improving resources for services tackling the causes of smoking rather than drafting more socially authoritarian legislation.


1 comment:

ricky said...

It really nice to know that government plans to make some steps for anti smoking. History also suggests that SMOKING SHOULD BE STOPPED. Thos who are suffering from this they know how its effects to us. It is really true that quite smoking is not very much easy, but don’t forget about the bad effects of smoking also. I think that for our better future smoking should be stopped. I’m also suffered a lot, but ultimately I succeeded to get rid from this dangerous habit. I suggest, chantix it is one of the most effective medicine available in market for quite smoking.