As more and more countries join on the bandwagon to plaster graphic pics on cigarette packets in an attempt to reduce the numbers of smokers, some are questioning whether such measures are indeed successful. Well, there’s no need to go further..take a look at these figures from the United States’ CDC:
Its taken the Americans 40 years to reduce by half the number of smokers..and this in spite of the introduction of one of the nation’s strictest bans on smoking in public places by the state producing the most tobacco in the US – North Carolina.
Some blame the slow reduction in the number of smokers to tobacco companies’ subtle strategies in fighting for their cause – sports sponsorship,adverts targeting teens and the like – but the real cause in the US is that Federal Agencies and public health advocates cannot regulate tobacco use, just like it can for drugs and breakfast cereals.
But this will not be for long..the US Senate will debate over the next few weeks giving the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authority to regulate tobacco products. Some points include:
• The FDA needs to approve claims of “reduced harm” by the industry, which is already introducing a new generation of supposedly less dangerous products.
• Ingredients in tobacco products need to be revealed to the government — a big improvement over the current situation, where the public is in the dark.
• The FDA will mandate larger warning labels, curtail marketing to children, and ban the use of labels such as “light” and “mild.”
Tobacco companies, which have mastered the art of marketing deception into a fine art, will probably snigger a bit as they know the FDA is already overloaded with work ,and such new regulations aren’t going to lessen the burden. However, word has it that the extra costs needed to regulate smoking will be passed back to the tobacco industry!
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