It's difficult to write an article about the dangers of smoking without sounding patronising. I smoked for many years and I can't deny that cigarettes accompanied me through many a crisis. So this article isn't about giving up, but preventing young people from even starting.
One day I was taking my grandson for a walk in his pushchair and the tobacco from my cigarette butt landed on his blanket. It missed his face by inches. Feeling like an extra on "Shameless" I decided enough was enough. Embarrassment and dire financial straits forced me to stop smoking!
This incident led me to thinking about my grandson taking up smoking and how much I would hate that. It got me thinking about how attractive smoking can be to young people. The illusions associated with smoking are extremely powerful. It does look cool. It does make you feel more confident. It seems to calm you down. The cravings aren't illusions, however. I didn't want my grandson going down that road, but recognise that at the end of the day it will be his choice.
Now there is talk of new legislation here in the UK to put cigarettes not only out of sight, but take away the glamorous image they have by packaging them in plain packets with health warnings. It is hoped this will deter young people from smoking.
I wonder if it could work?
I wonder if they are still working to add those scary adds showing the health related illness and disease of smoking??
Yes, I agree! It will be interesting to see what the outcome of the Australian experiment shows.
And then again young people might think that those gruesome pics are actually rather cool . . .
Hi Katiem - thanks for your post, so glad you found the article useful. I think the plain packaging will have health warnings though - because that is the law, at least here in the UK. And along with the printed health warning will be the gruesome pics! So although it says 'plain' in actual fact there will be stuff on the packet that might deter young people from taking it up because it doesn't look very cool. It's definitely not a marketing ploy because it is the government that's taking the initiative and trying to get the ruling through the European court. We can but hope...
What a powerful bit of information. I'm going to share this across the board making parents aware. Sethisis makes a good point, it would make it easier for teens to hide the package. IN fact this may be some under handed marketing ploy. Smoking is such a terrible thing and oh how I wished no one, especially kids would ever put one to their lips. Great information, thanks for the heads up!
Yes - I was thinking that having the gruesome cigarette packets could become a status symbol in itself! I can't help but think this is a step in the right direction though - it must be, if the tobacco companies themselves are fighting so hard against it.
I can't help but think that plain packaging would make it easier for kids/ teenagers to cover up their smoking habit. A plain packet won't be so instantly recognisable as what we have at the moment. Also, the extreme lengths we're all going to to stop people smoking does make it seem more attractive. But you never know, maybe it'll work!