There have been many attempts in the past to try and get people to quit smoking, however none as aggressive as the latest suggestion to make Britain smoke free in as little as under one hundred years. Ok this might sound like a long time but really it’s not, think about it…it’s only one generation. Currently smoking is accountable for around 100,000 deaths a year in the UK and the top medical experts want to reduce this number to 0.
Leading Doctors have called for a permanent ban on selling cigarettes to anyone that was born in this century (the year 2000). This new plan would mean that every year we would see the age in which you would be eligible to buy a packet of cigarettes rise until the last remaining smoker died.
After years of unsuccessful advertising and education campaigns set up to try and either deter young people from smoking or to get them to quit, if they currently smoke, they believe more drastic action needs to take place which will take away the option for young people to buy cigarettes in the first place therefore preventing them from getting addicted.
Advantages Of The Proposal
Well this is quite obvious really…If this ban was to be introduced it would mean Britain would be smoke free by around the year 2100 – in fact the likelihood would be much sooner than this as with each year that passes less people are eligible to buy cigarettes meaning that the demand for cigarettes will decrease. There will be a point when the demand is too low and cigarette companies will either evolve into a new market i.e. electronic cigarettes, or they will just close down. Britain will become healthier as a result with the death count for smoking related diseases being 0%.
Disadvantages Of The Proposal
There are quite a few problems that I can envisage this ban causing however the 2 main arguments that I can see here will be:
1) Why Just Smoking?
This would be a very valid point. What about alcohol or even sugar? Alcohol is very damaging to the human body, not to mention the amount of injuries and deaths caused by individuals under the influence. Also on average each Britain consumes around 238 teaspoonfuls of sugar each week. Sugar is known to cause obesity, a massive problem in Britain currently, and is also related to other health problems such as diabetes and heart disease.
2) Freedom of Choice
It becomes very dangerous when you start telling people what they can and cannot do. Surely people have the right to smoke if they so choose? It’s their bodies and if they choose to smoke then that is their decision regardless of the consequences. It’s one thing from stopping a product from entering a market to begin with but people have been using cigarettes for years– how can you just take something away from people that they use on a daily basis?
Can you imagine the awkward moment a young shop assistant has to ask an 84 year old for ID as the age limit to buy cigarettes is 85 or over – this day could soon be here if this suggestion is given the green light.
What are your thoughts?
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