EU CRACKDOWN ON SMOKING – Ask a smoker if smoking cigarettes is bad for your health and you are likely to get a very open and honest response.
Yes I’m a smoker and it is quite frankly a disgusting anti-social habit that is expensive and seriously damaging to the health; not just for me but for those around me.
I know this, millions of other smokers know this, but do we really need dictating too by a body of people that are not elected by any person? Yes we are talking once again about the despot regime known as the European Union who now intends to crack down on smoking.
I wouldn’t suggest that this move is a bad thing but do we really need to be forced into giving up smoking?
According to the latest developments from the EU they intend to remove cigarettes that are packaged in ten – yes those packs ten cigarettes, according to our EU masters, will no longer be available for sale by 2016.
The idea here is to reduce the number of young smokers who often find a packet of twenty cigarettes too expensive and therefore opt for a packet of ten.
In a related move by the EU they also intend to ban all ‘flavoured’ cigarettes at the same time, so if you are one of those who prefers a menthol cigarette then you’ll be out of luck.
Again these new laws are being labeled as measure to prevent young people from taking up the habit and even helping long-term smokers to quit.
To me this doesn’t actually appear like a bad move, after all any excuse to give up smoking is a positive move in my book – maybe cigarettes should be banned altogether in order to help us quit.
Would you support such a move by government to ban cigarettes from sale? I suspect many people would but there is one hurdle, a fly in the ointment, which is opposing these plans – yes of course the tobacco companies.
The tobacco companies are extremely powerful entities and have the financial resources to question the legality of such a ban and indeed lobby MEPs to oppose the move. Currently the tobacco companies have already quashed one plan, that being the banning of menthol cigarettes.
Whilst it is widely accepted that menthol cigarettes are popular among young and new smokers the tobacco firms have successfully lobbied MEPs to oppose the ban resulting in the phasing out of menthol cigarettes being scrapped; for at least the next eight years.
The EU is insisting that the packaging of cigarettes needs larger warning signs and that the health warnings must cover a minimum of 65 per cent of the packaging surface – this legal requirement will come into effect in 2016.
It is not yet certain if the EU will be able to implement these new laws. Currently there are discussions between the tobacco firms, health campaigners and politicians and depending upon how much pressure the tobacco firms can apply will really determine whether the EU will indeed be able to introduce bans over the next few years.
There has been quite a move, by smokers, in taking up the use of the e-cigarette but despite this being seen as an alternative, especially with the issue of second-hand smoke, some scientist have declared that the fumes from e-cigarettes create their own unique set of health issues; not just for the user but also those around them.
I’m sure most of us smokers would like to become non-smokers but we are also fully aware of the hold that the nicotine fix has over us – it does appear rather silly at times to how such a small thing could wield so much power over us. Maybe I should try again to quit the filthy habit.