Friday 29 August 2014
Building For The Future: Britain Is Trying To Ban Smoking For Anyone Born After The Year 2000
British doctors voted last Tuesday to ban cigarettes for anyone born after the year 2000, the first step in an initiative to make Britain completely free of tobacco within the next 20 years.
The motion passed at the British Medical Association’s annual representatives meeting, the Guardian reports, and will soon lead to the doctors’ union lobbying the government to introduce the ban on kids currently 14 years or older.
The BMA has previously been successful in having bans enforced on smoking in public as well as in cars carrying children.
Tim Crocker-Buque, a specialist registrar in public health medicine who first proposed the ban, said it will stop kids from being attracted to smoking in their early teens, which is when 80 percent of smokers develop addictions.
Smoking is not a rational, informed choice of adulthood. Eighty percent of smokers start as teenagers as a result of intense peer pressure. Smokers who start smoking at age 15 are three times as likely to die of smoking-related cancer as someone who starts in their mid-20s.
Crocker-Buque added that nine out of 10 smokers wished they had never started and that smokers who began at the age of 15 are three times as likely to die of smoking-related diseases as someone who started just five years after.
He went on,
It is not expected that this policy will instantly prevent all people from smoking, but [rather it will] de-normalize cigarette smoking. The level of harm caused by smoking is unconscionable.
The medical professionals also highlighted that the incomparable power of cigarette addiction is evident in the fact that even a cancer diagnosis won’t get some smokers to quit.
They said this is the first of many steps to make Britain the first country to fully eradicate cigarettes by 2035.
Some doctors criticized the proposal, however, saying it would result in a black market involving cigarettes much more dangerous than those available today.
Others, notably ear, nose and throat specialist Dr. Yohanna Takwoingi, also brought up the “forbidden fruit” concept, in which making something illegal only attracts kids to it more.
The BMA believes the opposite, that smoking should never have been viewed as “normal” and that even the smartest teens aren’t wise enough to use tobacco safely and in moderation at such young ages.
It is time to play the tobacco end game.
One billion people are predicted to be killed from smoking-induced diseases in the 21st century.