Law and Cigar – Lavan Vickneswaran – Medium

We all know someone who smokes. Personally, I don’t understand how in the 21st century, there’s still a growing concern about smoking and the long term ailments it eventually causes, ranging from heart disease to increased chances of up to 16 cancers.

But what my question is, why are the government spending millions on advertising the ill- effects of smoking, standardizing packaging or deploying e-cigarettes as a healthier alternative. Just stop manufacture it’s that simple. Apparently not.

The Costs of patients with smoking-related diseases being admitted into the NHS being anywhere between £2 billion and £6 billion is heftily outweighed by the profits made from cigarette manufacture, taxation revenue is massive. On every cigarette packet, tax itself is 80%.

We could ban cigarettes but it’d be at a cost, 15% of UK smoke, politically it’s reasoned that prohibition simply never works. Already many small retailers sell black market cigarettes, this would increase when we pose a ban on cigarettes and more relevant to the government this would hand the large profits to criminals.

Yet the future’s still optimistic, statistics from Philip Morris (biggest tobacco manufacturer) suggest that bristol could be smoke-free by 2024, with many other large cities to follow, by 2050 it’s stated that UK has a chance of being a smoke-free country.

But smoking culture, be it smoking cigarettes, weed, ganja etc is rooted in many disfavourable youth subcultures, the ideology behind a teen’s first smoke what evokes them to begin, that’s where the problem is rooted. Smoking continues to be heroism, depicted in mainstream media in hip-hop and in movies, it’s ok to do this. However, there’s no point fighting smoking with ugly advertisement when other media forms continue to not show in light, but still, show it. As I said, this is ok, we can’t just hide society from what’s bad, but the more scenes of smoking a child sees, then the more likely they are to finally feed that curiosity and start that life long habit.

Lavan Vickneswaran

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