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For decades, the tobacco industry has targeted Australian men and women with its marketing and advertising, with disastrous consequences for Australian health. As a result, cigarette smoking caused more than 170,000 Australian deaths. In addition, the percentages of lung cancer incidents have been increased rapidly and it became common in Australia in the late 1800s (Statistics n.d.).
Currently, smoking has been recognized as the major drug killer in Australia bringing with its huge human and economic costs. Therefore, Australian government imposed laws to reduce smoking rates. Based on Table 1, it was shown that a smoker usually consumes an average of 15 cigarettes per day (Statistics n.d.). North America and Europe topped the list in the number of cigarettes smoked per day. It was followed by South America with an average number of 16 cigarettes per day. Australia ranked the third in the number of cigarettes smoked per day. The rate was comparatively higher than Africa and Asia. It has serious physical and psychological impacts on Australian health.
There are 3 types of smokers, namely social smokers, casual smokers and chain smokers. Australian government enforces laws to reduce smoking rates so that Australian citizens could enjoy healthy habits lifestyles. Therefore, appropriate actions should be taken by the Australian government to ban smoking in Australia.1.2 Statistics
According to the results of a survey of cigarette smoking rates in Australia, a sample of 4309 people which consists of 2137 men and 2172 women had been targeted (Hill & Gray 1982). It was found that 40% of men and 31% of women consumed cigarettes (Hill & Gray 1982). In 1980s, the rate of 40% cigarette smoking was among men aged 18 years old and above as shown in Figure 1 (Tobacco in Australia, n.d.).
Figure 1: Smoking rates among Australian adults 1980-2007graph
Source: Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer, published inÂ Tobacco in Australia: Facts & Issues, 3rdÂ ed.
Figure 2: Prevalence of current smoking (2004-2005)Graph: Prevalence of current smoking, 2004-05
Source: National Health Survey: Summary of Results 2004-2005Table 2: Middle-aged and older adults-percentages of current smokers by age group (1980-2007)
Based on Figure 2, the highest rates of cigarette smoking for men (35%) were reported in the age group of 18-24 years old and 27% for women in the age group of 25-34 years old. Thus, it was clear that the smoking rates are the highest in the younger generations. A decline was noted with older age group as shown in Table 2.1.3 Aim of research
The aim of this research is to identify the different types of smokers and evaluate the effectiveness of law implementation on cigarette smoking by the Australian government in order to reduce smoking rates and the possibility of banning smoking in Australia for the benefit of Australians' health.Types of smokers 2.1 Social smokers
Social smokers are defined as people who smoke mainly or only in social settings and in the presence of others (Hainer 2008). Besides, social smokers are also known as "occasional smokers". (Morley, Hall, Hausdorf & Owen 2006). In addition, social smokers are much more likely than those who have never smoked to have relatives or friends who smoke. Based on a research, a greater proportion of young adults start to smoke after the age of 18 as compared to the past and social smoking could be one of the reasons (Hainer 2008).2.2 Casual smokers
Casual smokers is defined as people who smoke on many but not all days and also smokers who are cutting back on their smoking, going from smoking daily to only smoking occasionally. (Williams 2004). The problem with casual smokers is that they do not think they are addicted. They think that they can switch it on and off whether they want to smoke or not. They think that they have a full control over whether or not they want to smoke (Quit Smoking Forever Guide 2009).2.3 Chain smokers
Chain smokers are smokers who smoke in a "chain" cigarette one after another. Chain smoking is the practice of lighting a new cigarette for personal consumption immediately after one that is finished, sometimes using the finished cigarette to light the next one. It is a sign of addiction and gives the smokers a constant source of nicotine that smokers would be able to feel the sense of calm. (Roudebush 2010).Advantages of cigarette smoking 3.1 Economic contribution Table 3: Inflation Rates by Categories- March 2009 Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics-Consumer Price Index
Tobacco industry contributes substantially to the Australian economy as tobacco taxes are a major source of revenue for almost every government in the world. For instance, the Australian government has imposed 21% of increase in the tobacco price through excise to encourage up to 130,000 adults to quit and prevent 35,500 children from starting to smoke, while boosting federal revenue by 1.03 billion per annum (Taxation reform and tobacco excise: best practice for a sustainable future 2009). Based on Table 3, it was found that alcohol and tobacco industries had contributed up to 5.7% in Australian economy in 2009. In addition, the Australian government also put the economic contribution of the tobacco industry at about $1 billion a year and the estimated social costs of smoking at $31 billion. The Program director of Cancer Council WA claimed that the higher tobacco taxes would be detrimental to the Australian economy (Tobacco costs the Australian economy more than it's worth 2009).3.2 Mental Relief 3.2.1 Relieves Stress
Based on a research, cigarette smoking is one of the stress management tools for those who suffer all kinds of stress such as job stress and family stress. A cigarette contains over 4000 chemicals which could cause cancer (Healey 2001). A poisonous and addictive drug in tobacco consists of nicotine which could reduce smokers' stress and it could increase heart rate up to 21 beats per minute and also stimulates the nervous system so that smokers could feel the sense of relief or relaxation (Healey 2001). Besides, smoking creates a myriad of conditions that help the body with anxiety and depression (Healey 2001).3.2.2 Memory improvement
A study has been conducted and it was found that nicotine in cigarettes may improve memory and prevent brain cells from diseases such as Alzheimer's and Pakinson's (Melville 2003). Other than that, it was proven that nicotine can help in improving learning ability and memory problems associated with hypothyroidism (Melville 2003). In addition, Victorian doctors also recommended smoking as a mean of sharpening the wits and boosting concentration (Derbyshire 2008).Disadvantages of cigarette smoking 4.1 Health effects 4.1.1 Lung cancer Figure 3: Death from smoking by disease group- proportion Sources: Action on Smoking and Health Fact Sheet, www.acosh.org
Based on Figure 3, it indicated that lung cancer is the leading cause of death in Australia. Lung cancer is classified as the most common cancer in Australia caused by cigarette smoking. It was found that lung cancer made up of 27% which is the highest rate among other cancers (Healey 2001). To be more precise, more than 9,100 Australians are diagnosed with lung cancer annually.4.2 Environmental effects
A study indicated that approximately 60% of Australian smokers do not dispose of the cigarette butts in a proper way after they had done with their smoking (The environmental impact on tobacco use n.d.) Cigarette butts were found everywhere on the street which causes littering problems and leads to serious effects for the environment. It was estimated that about 7 billion cigarette butts are littered in Australia every year (The environmental impact on tobacco use n.d.). In addition, discarded cigarettes and matches are an important cause of fires in Australia. The 1995 NSW Fire Brigade annual report found that cigarettes and matches caused up to 1,200 grass and bushfires each year (Victorian Litter Action Alliance 2003).
On the other hand, cigarette smoking could cause air pollution as once it is freed into the air, it will cause the air to become polluted and toxic which may harm human's health.4.3 Financial stress Table 4: Financial Stress, smoking and income Source: Australia Bureau of Statistics (1998-1999 Household Expenditure Survey)
The research shows that the increment of smoking rates could lead to financial stress and deprivation. Smoking expenses contributed 3.9% for the households and the smokers' financial stress increased at the same time as shown in Table 4 (Siahpush, Borland & Scollo 2003). Compared to non-smokers, smokers faced higher financial stress than non-smokers with 77.7% (smokers) and 58.3% (non smoker) (Siahpush, Borland & Scollo 2003).Actions taken by the government 5.1 Legislation 5.1.1 Tobacco Products Regulation Act 1997
This act is established to prohibit smoking in enclosed public areas such as bars, pubs, gaming areas and casino since 2007.5.1.2 Tobacco Advertising Prohibition Act 1992
This act restricts tobacco advertising, including broadcasting, print media and sponsorship associated with sporting and cultural events. It sets a national minimum standard but allows the states and territories to implement tighter controls. Furthermore, this act is designed to reduce the exposure of the public to messages and images that may persuade them to start or continue smoking or use tobacco products.5.1.3 Trade Practices (Consumer Product Information Standards) (Tobacco) Regulations 2004 (Regulations under the Trade Practices Act 1974)
This act explained that health warning have been legally required to be displayed on all tobacco products for sale in Australia since 1995. The Australian government has approved a new color graphic health warning to provide smokers with more information on the health effects of smoking and to further encourage them to think about quitting.5.2 Augmentation in taxation of cigarette
According to the World Bank, raising taxes on tobacco is one of the most effective ways of reducing the amount of people who smoke. Therefore, the Australian government tends to raise cigarette's price by imposing tax on it to encourage smokers to quit from smoking in order to practice a healthy lifestyle and to reduce cancer rates. Meanwhile, the excise revenue that has been imposed by the Australian government was $5.296 billion in 2005 and 2006 (Measures to reduce the demand for tobacco, n.d.).5.3 Restriction on advertisement and other promotion
The advertisement and promotion of smoking or tobacco products in Australia is governed by the Tobacco Advertising Prohibition (TAP) Act 1992. The TAP Act 1992 was introduced to provide a national standard for tobacco advertising. The TAP Act bans most of the mainstream forms of tobacco advertising.5.3.1 Packing and labeling Figure 4: A Strong Warning Label Source: Institute of Medicine. Growing Up Tobacco Free: Preventing Nicotine Addiction in Children and Youths 1994
The Australian government has imposed TAP Act 1992 to urge tobacco manufacturers to display health warning on cigarette packages. The health warning such as lung cancer, mouth diseases, heart diseases and unhealthy infants' graphics should be displayed on cigarette packages to warn smokers to quit from smoking. In addition, effective from March 2006, all packages were required to have pictorial warnings that could cover 30% of the front of the package and 90% of the back of the package as shown in Figure 4 (Measures to reduce the demand for tobacco, n.d.).6.0 Conclusion
Effective actions should be taken by the Australian government to ban smoking in public areas. Heavy fines could be another alternative way to punish smokers who smoke in public areas. Besides, the Australian government could include the reinforcement of rules and regulations on those smokers who continue to smoke. Based on the statistics, it indicated that there was a great improvement in reducing smoking rates in Australia. Incentives and taxes have been imposed to curb health problems such as heart diseases and lung cancers. Therefore, the Australian government should enforce of laws on tobacco smoking to ban smoking in Australia so as to practice a healthy lifestyle.2086 words
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Cigarette smoking should be banned
Smoking cigarettes should be declared illegal due to its damaging and harmful effects on human beings and their surrounding environments. In my opinion, smoking should be banned, because not only do many smokers not realise that they are slowly killing themselves by smoking cigarettes, but they are also putting many innocent lives at danger and polluting our planet, as we speak. The smoking of cigarettes is one of the world’s leading health concerns and according to the World Health Organization, one person dies every six seconds due to smoking; this equates to one out of every ten adults, globally 1. These facts alone should be sufficient enough to ban cigarette smoking for permanently. In further paragraphs, the negative impact that smoking has on people’s health, the dangers of second-hand smoking and the pollution factor as a result of smoking will be highlighted and discussed.
First and foremost, cigarette smoking should be banned because of the damaging health implications it has on the smoker. There has been ongoing and extensive research over time that has repeatedly proven the harmful effects that smoking cigarettes has on a person’s health. Some of the most common diseases include various forms of cancer (including lung, bladder, kidney, cervical etc.), infertility in men and reduced fertility for women, coronary thrombosis, better known as heart attacks, chronic bronchitis and many more, almost too many to mention here 2. Women who smoke during pregnancy expose her baby to the risk of being born too early and with abnormal birth weight 3. The prohibition of cigarette smoking, will force the majority of the people to quit smoking and this in turn could contribute positively not only to their long-term health, but also to improve the quality of their life in general.
Secondly, smoking cigarettes should be made illegal, due to the threat to innocent people’s lives that are involuntarily exposed to second-hand.
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By: July • Essay • 392 Words • May 17, 2010 • 432 Views
Should Cigarette Smoking Be Prohibited?
Should cigarette smoking be prohibited? Argue that the cigarettes smoking should be illegal or argue that the cigarettes smoking should continue at present?
Cigarette smoking ban is becoming a controversial social issue. Some people support the opinion of the smoking ban, but others do not. In my opinion, cigarette smoking is an expensive habit and it should be prohibited. Although smokers claim that it helps them to relax and release stress, the negative aspects of the habit outweigh the positive. Cigarette smoking is a health hazard for both smokers and no-smothers, especially harmful to unborn babies. In addition, cigarette smoking is addictive because of the nicotine cigarettes contain.
Cigarette smoking causes a number of heath problems which are expensive to treat. It is a major cause of respiratory diseases such as asthma, lung cancer and bronchitis. According to the world Health Organization, cancers are the first killers of human beings, 70% of cancers are related to lung cancer caused by smoking. In spite of the money which the Government receives from taxing cigarettes, the cost of medical treatment for those diseases exceeds this income. As a consequence, no smoking taxpayers are forced to pay for the heath costs of smokers. This is a very unfair situation.
Another reason for banning smoking is that cigarette smoking affects the heath of non-smokers and unborn babies. Non-smokers soften suffer from eye and nose irritations, allergies and headaches as a result
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