“Smoking is injurious to health.”
One cannot count the number of times this particular warning has been flashed on the television screen or it appeared on the newspapers. What is it about smoking that the government has forced the cigarette producing companies place this notice(piece of shit) literally everywhere?
Well for beginners, this is a small list of effects that smoking brings to one:
· Heart: Smoking is the biggest risk factor for all heart diseases.
· Lungs: Smoking destroys small hairs present in upper parts of airways.
· Smoking causes heart burn, delays healing of peptic ulcers, increases risk of crohn's disease and formation of gall stones. It affects liver and increases chances of stomach cancer.
· Legs: Smoking affects blood vessels of legs causing chronic pain in legs.
· Eyes: The sensitive blood vessels of eye are easily damaged by smoking.
· Skin: Due to smoking the skin is deprived of oxygen and it loses its texture. An average smoker looks 5 years older than his healthy non smoking counterparts. tic tissues of skin.
· Bones: It accelerates the process of osteoporosis
· Cancer: Smoking causes cancer of lungs, larynx, oral cavity, pharynx, oesophagus and bladder. Tobacco smoke contains more than 60 substances which cause cancer. 87% lung cancer death occurs due to smoking.
· Reproductive system: Smoking reduces fertility in both men and women.
So, the probability of one leaving smoking after reading all this is what? One must think of like 1.1 or 110%. However, it is not so. People; and my mention of people also includes those who are in the big BoG rooms, in the ministry, the top level CEOs; are addicted to smoking.
Now, it is the duty of government to put a stop to this addiction. How do they do it? News Flash: “All cigarette packets must have the big warning on its packet.” To be frank doing anything after this would be interference on government’s part to control the free will of the people who constitute the nation.
Now, one is forced to think that if cigarettes are so injurious why do the companies produce it? Are they not aware of the consequence? See they are actually. But how can they stop these businesses which give them so much money. It is impossible to imagine an Indian Tobacco Company without that packet of cigarette.
But one must think that, “Hey. It’s not good on their part. They know that they are leading a whole generation of young and old people towards a slow death.” But, that is where the argument comes again. It is people who want the cigarette, and that is why they produce it. It is a demand driven market. So, ITC is producing it.
Since long, the Government of India, has been making the cigarette making companies put this warning on the packet covers; “Smoking is injurious to health.”
However, since long they knew that this piece of information was not actually serving its purpose. So they came out with the new, pictorial warning idea. The idea was to scare people away from smoking by showing them a picture of what actually smoking was doing to them. However, even this idea was diluted, as the picture that the cigarette packets carry now is that of a Scorpion, which frankly is not very effective to communicate its message.
In India, the cigarette packets carry the warning in the front of it and it covers only 40% of the area of the packet. When compared to the standards in Uruguay, the warning covers 80% of the cover; front and back both. This involvement of government in Uruguay shows a more active concern towards the smoking issue.
In a brave attempt to control smoking, the government, a few years back had issued an order that people cannot smoke at any public place. The law also bans direct and indirect advertising of tobacco products and the sale of cigarettes to children. However, the implementation of the same failed miserably and people still smoke freely in the streets.
Tobacco smoking in India kills 900,000 people a year. According to a 1996 survey reported by AP news agency, 112 million people smoke tobacco in India, while some 96 million use tobacco products like chewing tobacco.