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Illustration Essay on Smoking

According to a recent estimation by the W.H.O., it was found that there are about 1.1 billion smokers in the world today. This number is steadily increasing and it is expected to rise to about 1.64 billion by the year 2025. The W.H.O. estimated some four million deaths each year that are caused by tobacco use. It is expected that if smoking were not cut down, then there would be about ten million people dead per year by 2030 (Overview). If the current smoking trends continue, tobacco is expected to become the leading cause of death worldwide, causing more deaths than HIV, maternal mortality, automobile accidents, homicide and suicide combined. But these implications lie beyond the smoker. Those who are exposed to the smoke 'passively' are people who are 'innocent bystanders' in a public place where there is or are present regular smokers. They endanger not only themselves, but everybody around them. This is cause for enough concern to move for a ban in public places. This paper will take a stance that smoking is bad for people and that it should be banned from public places.

Since the tobacco industry is quite a large one and it affects almost everybody that resides in the United States of America, the rules and regulations for the tobacco industry to follow have to be very carefully scrutinized and implemented. It is the aim of many organizations, such as the American Lung Association (ALA) to minimize the consumption of cigarettes all over the United States. It is argued thus: Smoking, and smoking related inflictions, is responsible for over four hundred thousand deaths in America each year. In addition to these priceless losses of lives, smoking costs “the United States approximately $97.2 billion each year in health-care costs and lost productivity. It is directly responsible for 87 percent of lung cancer cases and causes most cases of emphysema and chronic bronchitis.” (ALA) So in effect, the ALA has some proposed rules and guidelines through which it manipulates the advertisement as well as the manufacturing and distributing facets of the tobacco industry all over the United States.

A few years ago, the Koop/Kessler Advisory Committee on Tobacco and Public Health made some recommendations to the public for the desired intake of cigarette smoke. This committee came up with some facts that showed smoking was predominantly very harmful and injurious to the health. Also, the tobacco industry and the sate attorneys general came up with a “Proposed Resolution” between them that proposed that some rules must be followed by the tobacco industry if they are to continue merchandising their product. A Tobacco Advertising Advisory Committee was thus setup by the American Lung Association whose main function is to assess the future of tobacco advertising. The ALA is thus able to gain control over the tobacco industry's advertisements of cigarettes and the ALA also proposes some guidelines that it believes should govern any future tobacco product advertisement and marketing campaigns. These guidelines or recommendations are mostly in concord with the Koop/Kessler Committee with the ALA's recommendations being slightly more specific.

One of the most influential aspects of the ALA on the tobacco industry is by their guidelines that have been laid down for all the advertisement concerned with tobacco and its products. The ALA has proposed that all the tobaccos advertisements that are visual in nature, e.g. billboards, magazines etc, should only be in black and white and only show the product package and not the product itself. The ad should also not include any props or any scenery in it so as not to attract any persons less than eighteen years of age. The Koop/Kessler Advisory Committee, backed by ALA, aim to ban advertising, marketing and promotion of tobacco products, such that are intended for at persons under age eighteen. Research conducted by the Koop/Kessler Advisory Committee shows that there are a lot of magazines that reach quite a large number of teens all over the nation. This has led to the notion that all the publications who accept and portray tobacco advertising in their content to be required to conduct annual readership studies to determine the percentage of their readers who are less than eighteen years of age and hence those publications whose under-18 readership is more than 15% be required to not accept tobacco advertisements or announcements of tobacco marketing or promotional campaigns.

Contrary to the belief of many smokers, smoking is not private matter of the person. The smoke has very potent effects on the health of surrounding people. After initial resistance, the public is now actively pursuing a ban on public smoking, including advertising and promotion of tobacco products. 


Bibliography

1. ALA & Koop/Kessler Advisory Committee. Tobacco Advertising/Marketing Guidelines. Accessed from http://repositories.cdlib.org/context/tc/article/1093/type/html/viewcontent/#environmental

2. Overview: The Global Crisis. Prepared for the International Policy Conference On Children & Tobacco. Accessed from http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/campaign/global/crisis.shtml


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