Cigarette Smoking: Activities To Control It

By Lindsay M Fox

It is a well-known fact that

cigarette smoking is a very

dangerous habit; cigarettes have

been known to cut smokers' lives

by many years by increasing their

risk of cancer and heart disease.

Cigarette smoke is also

dangerous to the people who

inhale secondhand smoke. The

problem is being made even worse by the fact that many

people start smoking right from their teenage years.

These people subject themselves to toxic substances on

a daily basis over many years.

What is clear is that the government has a very important

role to play in controlling the sale of cigarettes and other

tobacco products; however it does not seem to be doing

enough to control this problem. The fact that huge

cigarette companies spend a great deal of money on

defeating various anti-tobacco legislation perhaps has a

role to play in this fact. Certain activities are very

effective at controlling the demand for these dangerous


1. Increase taxes: The number of people who buy

cigarettes will come down in response to increased

taxes. What is really interesting is that the biggest impact

will be on young people because they are the most price

conscious crowd of our population. The other benefit is

that government will be able to generate a large amount

of revenues in this manner.

2. Control access to cigarettes: Cigarettes and other

tobacco products should not be easily available,

especially to young smokers. If smokers have to take

extra trouble to get their pack of cigarettes then it is likely

that they will not pick up the habit as easily.

3. Make it difficult to use cigarettes: Cigarette smokers

should have to think twice before they light up. The way

to do this is by restricting areas where people can smoke

cigarettes. Many public spaces have restrictions on

smoking cigarettes in their premises but these

restrictions need to expand to cover larger areas of our


4. Spread information about the dangers: People,

especially teenagers, need to be told about the dangers

of cigarette smoking. This is a very dangerous habit that

can have very lethal consequences to smokers as well

as people who breathe in secondhand smoke. Lung and

oral cancers are very common amongst long-term

smokers and so is heart disease. Young people need

counseling in order to counter the attractions of smoking

(it is perceived as being a cool or sexy thing to do).

5. Make help available to people who want to quit: People

who want to stop smoking (this includes the

overwhelming majority of smokers) should be given the

help they need. This is a highly addictive habit that very

few people can get rid of without proper assistance.

Counseling, hypnotherapy and nicotine replacement

therapies have been found to be very effective to control

tobacco use.

Activities to control cigarette smoking need to be

conducted with a great deal of care because the anti-

smoking lobby has to deal with a very powerful and

determined rival. Tobacco companies make too much

money to permit any measures that will curtail their

sales. Cigarette smoking amongst young people should

get particular emphasis because this is a particularly

vulnerable section of the population.