The Fight between Anti-smoking Advocates and Tobacco Manufacturers Continues
Anti-smoking advocates still haven’t finished their struggle with the tobacco manufacturers, predicting that tobacco products would be outlawed only within a decade.
With the government’s plan to implement plain packaging for cigarettes it is expected to be disputed in the High Court, anti-smoking advocates are supporting even toughest restriction, declaring that public support concerning the ban on cigarettes is growing.
Professor Simon Chapman from the University of Sydney stated that a smoking ban could be a reality only within 10-15 years and he also thinks that licensing scheme help in this.
“The officials should think about issuing smokers a license to smoke, which would require them passing a test similar to a driving test,” Professor Chapman stated.
“Taking into account the way smoking trends are going now, it is not surprising that advertisement and sale of cigarettes will end within 10-15 years.”
Approximately 17% of Australian smoke thus a ban on smoking would cost the government about $6 billion a year in missed profit.
This would be compensated by the health savings, as the annual medical burden on smoking related diseases constitutes $31 billion.
The licensing move has angered a lot of smokers and civil rightists, who declare that consumers should not be affected in any way for using a legal product, and such radical measure could help prosper black market.
Worldwide the number of anti-tobacco moves is growing each day, from prohibiting tobacco advertising to banning smoking completely. For instance the New Zealand authorities called for a complete ban by 2025.
In Singapore, specialists proposed a rather radical measure, to make illegal to buy tobacco products for anyone born after 2000. According to the survey, 70% of Singaporeans supported the given move.
And in Finland authorities declared that the country will be tobacco free by 2040, implementing severe laws in order to achieve this objective, including imprisonment for allowing children to smoke and also a ban on cigarette vending machines.
Louise Warburton, representative for the British American Tobacco (BAT), stated that demanding smokers to obtain a license could lead to growth in the illicit tobacco trade as smokers would think about going beyond the law. The tobacco manufacturers are spending about $20 million to struggle the government’s proposed plain packaging laws.
“A smokers license is a good idea, but first we want is a ban on smoking in all public places and also a restriction on cigarettes sales. If the number of smokers drops to about 5% of the population than we can state that the ban may be considered,” Quit Victoria executive director Fiona Sharkie said.
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