Imagine the possibility that children born in or after a certain year, such as the year 2000, would have their supply of tobacco restricted. It may not just be a dream. Researchers in Singapore conducted a survey and indicated there is strong support for the proposal, even among smokers.
Although the overall adult smoking rate in Singapore has dropped, smoking among the 18-29 year old age group is the highest, and increased almost 5% between 2004 and 2007. But the worldwide smoking problem begins with a much younger group, those in the 12-18 year old category. A three-part approach to the problem of smoking is: to protect nonsmokers from secondhand smoke; to help older smokers quit; and, to protect the young from beginning smoking.
Many countries already have laws in place to protect the public from secondhand smoke in workplaces and in public areas. It is surprising, though, that after knowing the adverse health affect that secondhand smoke has on the body, cities around the world still fight against clean air laws for their people. Quit smoking campaigns and cessation programs are gaining in popularity throughout the world in helping older adults kick tobacco. The final step is to remove the tobacco supply from youth by removing it from their lives. Period.
Proposing a ban on tobacco to those born after a specific year has benefits. First, there is no longer a “minimum age” to beginning smoking, and the rite of passage of smoking when you are an adult is removed. Second, the tobacco industry has maintained for decades that they do not conspire to sell to young children, therefore, this proposal would remove tobacco from young children since they can not legally purchase tobacco even when they turn 18. Adults who are already past the legal age when the ban takes place would not have a disruption of their tobacco, and the tobacco industry would still have customers, although they would gradually die off.
The decline in tobacco use would also be gradual, allowing for the tobacco companies to make changes to their long-term goals. Since the sale of tobacco would drop off over time, it gives current tobacco farmers a chance to change out their crops for a more profitable crop that is less damaging to the environment.
While some would claim the government would be taking away the right of an adult to smoke, the majority of daily smokers, 88%, started by the time they were 18, before they were legal age to make this adult decision. Placing a total smoking ban would provide “future health benefits and savings in heath care costs” for our future generations.
Click here to read more about this proposal