Premature celebrations from EU No Tobacco lobby damaging to citizen’s health?
Have EU and anti tobacco lobby been premature in claims of victory over tobacco?
Encouraging and so helping ensure people stop smoking is a major key to reducing the EU’s burden of chronic diseases. While the percentage of smokers across the EU is presented as having declined from 28% in 2012 to 26% in 2014, and the expectation of continued progress is believed feasible, are we simply confusing a temporary improvement with claims of “victory”.
Did the EU Parliament not simply leave the door open for the tobacco industry and its well paid minions to reduce the impact of its potential tobacco legislation to deal a much more severe blow to the tobacco industry and so its attractiveness as an investment and indeed a product to consumers across the Community.
How did it happen that what for many legislators was seen as a reasonable reduction to the proposed size of images on cigarette packs was accepted so easily and readily by the EU Parliament and is the EU anti tobacco lobby not reacting against this but instead to enter a temporary state of seeking their public supporters to ovate their empiric victory over Big Tobacco.
Is it simply a case of history repeating itself when today’s retirees similarly started smoking safe with the knowledge that the leading medical expert in the worlds most progressive economy at that time – or is our ability to move forward still so slow!
It was not until the first report of the Surgeon General’s Advisory Committee on Smoking and Health that the dangers were fully noted by all.
On the basis of more than 7,000 articles relating to smoking and disease already available at that time in the biomedical literature, the Advisory Committee concluded that cigarette smoking was:
– A cause of lung cancer and laryngeal cancer in men
– A probable cause of lung cancer in women
– The most important cause of chronic bronchitis
The release of the report was the first in a series of steps, still being taken over 50 years later, to diminish the impact of tobacco use on health.
There needs to be a call to all concerned with reducing tobacco consumption in Europe to understand, explain and disseminate information about how e-cigarettes may be a short term fix for some current smokers, it also has a massive potential to create a new, large audience for “Big Tobacco”. By preparing today’s “vaper” to be the new target market as tomorrow’s smoker and so new victim of this industry.
Our legislators at European and national level need to reconsider their ability to understand the arguments of the tobacco industry and impose restrictions on the range of new products to ensure that these are only available to current tobacco addicts through the appropriate outlets for such products, pharmacies.
They need to protect the new and potential next generation of smokers from being similarly exploited as their forefathers before they too leave this earth as a result of “puffs of smoke”.