Over the past years the issue of cigarette smoking has posed a major problem in the society. Several attempts have been made to come up with a lasting solution but none has proven potent to solve the problem. This study attempts to assess the problem of cigarette smoking in the society. The study examines the issue deeply in order to come up with a clear understanding and hence being in a position to come up with a potent policy to solve the problem. The study has identified several recommendations that can help discourage people from smoking. The study has proposed that banning out door advertisement can play a pivotal role in reducing the level of smoking in the community. This is because it will prevent advertisement messages, which are obviously seductive, from reaching the youth. The study has also proposed that taxation policy can have a significant contribution in overcoming smoking in the society. Taxation will act by increasing the prices of the cigarettes. Therefore, high prices will tend to discourage people from smoking. Young people will also not be able to access it easily when sold expensively.
Statement of Issue
Many people have died from the complications related to cigarette smoking. Several efforts have been put in place to reduce the level of smoking but the results have not yet reached a reasonable level. The level of smoking still remains very high.
Background of Issue
Over the past decades, many people have died from the complications related with the cigarettes. Cigarette smoking can affect both the smoker and other people in the proximity who may inhale the smoke. It is therefore necessary to come up with the necessary measures in order to prevent this problem.
Cigarette smoking poses a very big danger to the health of the individuals smoking. It has significant health implications in the community. However, these deaths are preventable if the issue was taken in an appropriate manner. Unfortunately, many people continue to lose their lives by being directly or indirectly affected by the cigarette smoke.
In many cases, tobacco leads to diseases that mostly affect the lungs and the heart. There has been reported various cases of heart attacks, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, cancer among other diseases1. This implies that there is need to have effective measures in order to eliminate these problems in the community.
Smoking is also known to cause impotence. Past studies indicate that the cases of impotence are 87 percent higher in the males who smoke than the ones who do not2. This is so because smoking leads to arterial narrowing. This poses a big problem in the society bearing in the mind the fact that more people are being engaged in smoking at a very early age.
Several efforts have been put in an effort to control the deaths resulting from cigarette smoking. One of the main measures which have been applied over the past is through taxation. This is aimed at increasing the prices of cigarettes in order to encourage people to quit smoking.
Several programs have also been implemented in an effort to reduce the level of cigarette smoking. However, these efforts have been faced by several problems that have threatened the performance of these measures. Many attempts against smoking have been undermined by the motives to make profits. As a result, most of the efforts put against smoking have been proven impotent.
In the 19th century, there was a rapid growth in anti-tobacco movement. This was mainly led by religious movements like the Seventh Day Adventist3. These groups played a major role in putting pressure on the government to employ laws that prevented the sales of cigarettes to the young people.
Statement of Organisation Interest in Issue
As already noted, cigarette smoking have posed a great problem on the health of the people. Therefore, there is need to have an effective way to cut down the level of smoking. The main goal of our organisation is to reduce the level of cigarette smoking. Over the past, our organisation has been involved in many activities aimed at reducing the complications related with cigarette smoking. These include sensitizing people about the effects of smoking like lung cancers, facilitating drug quitting cancelling services among others. Our organisation values our activities and we are determined to achieve the best results. In order to improve on the effectiveness of our activities, we liaise with other community organizations in meeting our goals.
Over the past, several policies have been implemented in an effort to combat the level of smoking. However, the level of smoking still remains high. In the United States, the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act has played a significant role in lowering the level of smoking in the country. This act was passed in the year 2009. The tobacco control act provided the Food Drug Administration with the power to regulate the manufacture, marketing, as well as the distribution of tobacco products. All this is aimed at reducing the level of smoking in order to promote the general public health. The Food and Drug Administration act is assigned with the responsibility of restricting the sale and distribution of cigarettes. Marketing restrictions are aimed at curtailing the appeal to cigarettes. However, this was mostly directed towards the youth. Therefore, it was somehow impartial. Nonetheless, these regulations did not include restrictions on outdoor advertisement.
In the United States, there are several measures which have been undertaken in order to prevent cigarette smoking among the young people. This was after the increase in number of young people engaged in cigarette smoking. This led to implementation of a new rule on 2010 which restricted distribution, sale and marketing of cigarettes. Out door advertisement was also banned in the year 2009. This rule prohibits the distribution of free samples of cigarettes4. It also prohibits tobacco brand name sponsorship of musical, athletic or any events which involves the society. It also prohibits the sale of cigarettes to the children less than 18 years.
In 2009, packaging regulations were passed in Australia which directed on cigarette packaging. For instance, health warnings were expected to cover more than 30 percent of the front part and 90 percent of the back of the cigarette5. Companies are also required to refrain from using such words like mild, light among others which tends to conceal its adverse impacts on health.
There are several policy options that the government can adopt in its fight against the sale of cigarettes. However, these policy options differ in terms of effectiveness.
Banning outdoor advertisement
This is one of the useful methods which can be applied to suppress the number of smoking. This is where companies are restricted from advertising cigarettes in places where the message can reach the students. This method ensures that young people are not seduced to smoking through enticing advertisements.
Taxation policy is also an effective policy which can help in reducing the level of smoking. Taxation involves charging a certain rate of money for every unit of a product. When the tax rates are high, the price of a certain commodity goes up. When the prices are high, then the level of demand is low. Therefore, taxation can help in discouraging people from smoking.
Labelling can also be used in lowering the level of smoking in the society. For instance, companies can be directed to clearly indicate the dangers of smoking on cigarette packets. This ensures that the smokers are informed about the health implication of smoking. This may discourage them from smoking.
Assessment of Policy Options
Banning outdoor advertisement
- Banning of the out door sales plays a significant role in protecting the youth from being seduced to smoking. It also helps the non smokers from being tempted to be involved in smoking.
- It creates room for counseling services. For instance, an advert may be opposing the views given by the counselors to the smokers.
- Banning outdoor advertisements doesn’t help much to those who have already been addicted to smoking. Advertisement will mainly intend to inform customers to buy the product. Therefore, banning outdoor advertisement will only protect non smokers.
- Even after banning open door advertisement, people can access these advertisements in the internet. The contemporary community has significantly changed and therefore people are using technology like the internet to socialize and access information6.
- Even if the outdoor advertisement is banned, people can also access information about cigarettes from other media.
- Even after banning advertisement, cigarettes will always be available in the market. Therefore this method cannot be effective when used alone.
- Taxation leads to high prices of cigarettes. Therefore, most young people cannot afford this because most of them are unemployed.
- This method generates income for the government.
- This method is not effective in discouraging smoking among the rich. The rich people may not be affected by high cigarette prices and it may be ineffective in such a case. It is usually effective on those who have low income. As Judt puts it, more equal societies always do better7. Therefore, these indifferences will make it difficulty to come up with a universal policy.
- In some cases, the government’s motive to maximize its revenue may lead to failure to meet the intended goals.
- Smokers get informed about the health dangers of smoking. This may discourage them from smoking.
- It prevents the cigarette manufacturing companies from using enticing words like light, mild and others which tends to hide the health implications of smoking cigarettes.
This method is only effective for literate people. However, majority of drug abusers are school drop outs who are recruited to the vice at early age. This method could not help such a person because he or she will not be interested to know what is written or not written on a cigarette pack.
As already seen, there is a need to have an effective policy in order to solve the problem of cigarette smoking in the society in order to protect the people from health implications associated with smoking.
In every community, social policies play an important role in shaping the conduct of the people living in the society8. According to Bauman, man should put all efforts in order to eliminate all difficult which makes the society unfavourable place by re-rooting the uprooted9. It is therefore necessary to come up with appropriate policy which will help in solving the current smoking problem in the society. There are a number of policy measures which can be applied in the society in the fight against cigarette smoking. However, most of these policies have failed in one way or another. It will therefore be necessary to come up with the most effective policy recommendation. One of the most effective policies in this case is banning of outdoor advertisement.
Banning of the outdoor advertisement is one of the methods that can significantly help to reduce the problem of smoking in the society. In the contemporary business world, many organizations are using advertisement as a tool to increase their sales. Similarly, cigarettes companies are using advertisement in order to maximize their sales. Therefore, it will be necessary to target this part in an effort to prevent smoking in the society10.
Banning outdoor cigarette advertisement will make it easier to protect young people from being lured into smoking. From the past, many young people have been recruited in smoking behaviours at a very young age11. Therefore, by banning advertisement of cigarettes in places where the advert can be accessed by young people lowers the chances of getting youth smokers. The chances of an adult beginning to smoke at late age are usually very low compared to the younger age12. Therefore, protecting the young people from accessing the advertisement will play a pivotal role in finding the solution to the current issue.
In order for any policy to be effective in the society, it is necessary to have a good cooperation among the key players13. Therefore, this policy will require the cooperation among the key players. The government must ensure that all the companies abide with the rules by sanctioning any company that violates this policy. The government must put strict measures against the violators. School heads must also ensure that students do not access any advert that is intended to seduce them to smoking.
Bauman, Z. (2001) Community: Seeking Safety in an Insecure World Polity: Cambridge pp 6-23.
Baumann has carried out several studies on various aspects of the society. In this book, he proposes that human beings are always longing to inhibit the community. However, the community is not always the way human beings like it to be. He examines these challenges in his book.
Bessant, J., Watts, R., Dalton, T. and Smyth, P. (2006) Talking Policy: How Social Policy is Made. Allen and Unwin: Crows Nest pp 128-134
This book seeks to analyze the main concepts about the social policy. The authors propose that social policy plays a significant role in directing the conduct of individuals in the society.
Beyer, J.D., Brigden, L.D. (2003) Tobacco control policy: strategies, successes, and setbacks. U.S.A.: World Bank Publications.
This book examines the various strategies which have been implemented in the United States. It gives an examination of the effectiveness of each of these methods.
Chapman, S. (2007) Public health advocacy and tobacco control: making smoking history. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
Over the past, Chapman has carried out intensive studies on how smoking can be eliminated in the society. In this book, he analyses some of the strategies which can be married in order to eliminate smoking in the society.
Delanty, G. (2003) Community (second edition) Routledge: London and New York pp 18-37.
Delanty has done an intensive work on community. In this book, he examines the various aspects in the contemporary community. He examines various aspects of the society which has changed.
Hu, T.W. (2008) Tobacco control policy analysis in China: economics and health. New York: World Scientific.
Hu has done several studies in tobacco control. In this book, he analysis the economic and health implications of the methods used in tobacco control. This helps in understanding the best control methods.
Jacobson, P.D., and Wasserman, J. (1997) Tobacco control laws: implementation and enforcement. Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corporation.
The authors of this book attempt to examine the tobacco laws which have been implemented in sale of cigarettes. They propose the laws which have been successful over the past. The authors have also proposed on the best ways through which the laws should be enforced in order to maximize the results.
Judt, T. (2010) Ill Fares the Land Allen Lane: London pp 11-31.
Tony Judt is one of the great historians who have written several books. Tony has written several books on the debate of future of social democracy and progressive politics. Before his death, he wrote this book which has put a great emphasis on the future of social democracy.
McClelland, A. and Smyth, P. (2009) Social Policy in Australia: Understanding for Action (Second edition) Oxford University Press:Oxford pp 2-19.
Alison and Paul did an intensive study on the social policy. In their book Social Policy in Australia: Understanding for Action, Alison and Paul tries to explain the impacts of social policy and the social policy to the society and for the future generation. They also emphasize on the need for coordination between the key players.
Reynolds, C. (LLB, PhD.) and Reynolds, C. (2004) Public health law and regulation. Australia: Federation Press.
Reynolds and Reynolds are law specialists who have specialized in public health law. In this book, they analyses the public health which can be useful in suppressing the level of smoking in the society. They have analyzed the existing policies and their effectiveness.
Redhead, C.S. (2009) FDA Tobacco Regulation: The Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act of 2009. DIANE Publishing.
This book tends to explain the tobacco Control Act of 2009. This book explains the implementation of this Act and how it can help in the fight against smoking.
Strauss, D.L., Boyle, P., Gray, N., Henningfield J., Seffrin, J. and Zatonski, W. (2010) Tobacco: Science, Policy and Public Health. U.S.A.: Oxford University Press.
This book examines the measures necessary to maintain health in the community by discouraging people from smoking.
Studlar, D.T. (2002) Tobacco control: comparative politics in the United States and Canada. University of Toronto Press.
This book examines the contribution of the government in the fight against smoking. The author recognizes the importance of the government in promoting the effectiveness of the fight against tobacco.
Warner, K.E, Johnson, R.W. (2006) Foundation. Tobacco control policy. UK: John Wiley and Sons.
This book examines the existing tobacco control policies which have been applied in various countries over the past. This helps in understanding the most effective policies which has yielded optimal results in various circumstances. The book provides a good guidance for policy options.
- K.E. Warner and R.W. Johnson (2006) Foundation. Tobacco control policy. UK: John Wiley and Sons.
- C. Reynolds, (LLB, PhD.) and C. Reynolds (2004) Public health law and regulation. Australia: Federation Press.
- D.L Strauss, P. Boyle, N. Gray, J., Henningfield J. Seffrin, and W. Zatonski (2010) Tobacco: Science, Policy and Public Health. U.S.A.: Oxford University Press.
- P.D. Jacobson, and J. Wasserman (1997) Tobacco control laws: implementation and enforcement. Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corporation.
- T.W. Hu (2008) Tobacco control policy analysis in China: economics and health. New York: World Scientific.
- G. Delanty (2003) Community (second edition) Routledge: London and New York pp 18-37.
- T. Judt (2010) Ill Fares the Land Allen Lane: London pp 11-31.
- J. Bessant, R. Watts, T. Dalton and P. Smyth (2006) Talking Policy: How Social Policy is Made. Allen and Unwin: Crows Nest pp 128-134.
- Z. Bauman (2001) Community: Seeking Safety in an Insecure World Polity: Cambridge pp 6-23.
- S. Chapman (2007) Public health advocacy and tobacco control: making smoking history. New York: John Wiley and Sons p. 69.
- L.D. Brigden (2003) Tobacco control policy: strategies, successes, and setbacks. U.S.A.: World Bank Publications, p. 164.
- D.T. Studlar (2002) Tobacco control: comparative politics in the United States and Canada. University of Toronto Press, p. 20.
- A. McClelland and P. Smyth (2009) Social Policy in Australia: Understanding for Action (Second edition) Oxford University Press: Oxford pp 2-19.