Most youngsters start smoking out of curiosity and after getting inspired by people in their homes, neighbourhoo, streets.. In fact, I have seen many people sending their children to shops to get tobacco related products. The smoke, coming out of one's lungs and stimulation of brain by nicotene, appeals to 12-15 yr old children. However, they remain oblivious to the damage that is being done from inside. Educational institutions who take children out on school trips to dairy farms and science centres must also take older children (8th-10th grade) to hospitals like Tata Cancer Hospital and help them understand the evils of tobacco usage. Hospitals should open such exhibits showcasing the harmful effect of tobacco to one's anatomy.
Mohammad Sabir, Mumbai

Even if the Govt banned tobacco products, everybody knows it will still be available in the market by other means and people who are addicted will still purchase tobacco even though they will have to pay more.

But still there are certain points that I would like to HIGHLIGHT regarding the steps our Govt should take before implementing a ban on Tobacco...

You might be aware that Tobacco cannot be sold to kids under 18...right? But does everyone follow that, not really...I have seen various panwallahs who sell tobacco to children who start smoking because they think thats cool...So first the Govt should takes steps to avoid this, and the next thing that comes to light is the bribe scene. Now the Govt already knows that if they have to make the system more STRICT then they will have to first stop taking bribes...Which is not gonna happen that quick in India. You know in USA and Aus if you sell a Smoke (or even Liquor) to under 18 you can get a ticket (FINE) of $100-500. So my ques is can't the Govt implement this system in INDIA?

Other thing that the Govt can do is build SMOKING ZONE where all the smokers can smoke without harassing other people. I mean people are annoyed if someone standing near them is smoking. Smokers have nothing to do with other people and just want to finish their NICOTINE intake.

Regarding the Environment, I think there are plenty of other HIGH PRIORITY issues that the Govt should deal with first. Instead of announcing that due to SMOKING habits of people the environment is getting polluted.

The last thing which comes to my mind is that the Govt should make people aware of what Tobacco addiction can lead them to. Right now I am in Aus and whatever cigs I buy, come with photographs of various forms of Cancer caused by Tobacco Addiction to make smokers aware what they are doing with their system and what trouble it can cause, there are lots of instructions about HOW YOU CAN QUIT SMOKING and if you need some advise then call the QUITLINE, instead of just displaying the manufacturers name on the pack of a cigs.

Im glad you're dealing with such an important matter. My opinion on tobacco and the Govt rules and regulations behind it are:-

1) Even if you covered the whole cigarette carton with images of cancer patients it won't help, tobacco addiction is much deeper.
2) We need to remove the image that surrounds a smoker of being more mature, cool, rich etc. because most of the time its the image that smoking creates in a person that gets to him and makes sure he stays addicted and songs like B.C.Sutta are good examples of it.
3) Smoking is a personal thing so its more upto the parents and friends to get the smokers off the death road.
4) The police need to be more vigilant and serious about the ban on smoking in public places, since I myself have smoked in front of a full jeep of policemen in public place.
5) People should stop shunning smokers and labeling smoking as a taboo, because its something thats been going on since ages.
6) Mostly every teen has tried smoking at least once and a fairly large percentage of those continue smoking for a good year or two before they realise what they are doing and quit, while a certain percentage of people out of it become habitual smokers.
7) Our lives are becoming increasingly gloomy day by day, it gives the weak ones another excuse to smoke and they begin a self-pitying cycle and think that they need cigarettes to survive, they begin to get dependent on tobacco as if it were food.

What I suggest is to come out of the reprimanding view of the anti-smoking ads going on nowadays and come clean about the real dangers of smoking. Dont treat it as a disease instead make them think of it as a choice that the smoker takes everytime he smokes and what he pays with in return. Be concise and to the fact, no one pays attention when you're reprimanding them.

And also work on alternative means of smoking, since smoking is ingrained in our culture since we know about it. Its gone too deep to be taken care of so fast. We need to give a choice to smoking cigarettes with less harmful ways like better filters or better treated tobacco or vaporisers.
Amit Shukla, Mumbai

I would just say that anybody who loves life should hate tobacco as its a slow poison that kills you.

I believe increasing tax on tobacco would give the company more revenue because people are definitely not going to stop smoking even if the price hikes instead they would end up spending more than usual.
Krish, Bhubaneswar

I have tried smoking for the pleasure of trying things and I hated it. Moreover, like other habits, drinking and Gutkha, smoking not only spoils ones health but also of people around the one who smokes and that is one reason I am sure everyone will want to ban smoking. So more than banning any other items, cigarettes are of primary concern.

I guess that will also help reduce the worst disease like cancer which has no medicine. People know that smoking, drinking and using Gutkha is highly injurious to health and yet they do. So that cant be stopped. As I mentioned earlier out of these things, atleast smoking should be banned in order to save not just the smokers but the innocent people around them. All the best for your efforts.

SMOKING is like blowing away your precious life in smoke and also harming the life of others. I have never smoked and never will. I cant stand smoking and smokers and thats the reason I have picked up few quarrels in public places like parks, cinema halls etc. In my view, though cigratte smoking is the most visible form of smoking the one which harms the most is use of raw chewing tobacco in rural and backward areas and to certain extent in urban areas.

Raw tobacco is still being consumed and its not only men but women also who cherish chewing tobacco. It is also used in many forms as a medicine which it is not. It is due to all cultural and religious ill beliefs that people use it. I strongly support the ban on smoking in public places similarly there should be pictures of ill effects of smoking on cigarette packs. Also its sale should be checked to underage youngsters.

Yes it is very harmful for present and future genaerations. It has to be stopped, so how?
1.Warn the retailer of Pan beedi shops to not sell their items to Kids
2.Warn the Tobacco comsumer against smoking in front of kids
3.Warn the media to not accept sponsorship from tobacco companies.
Rahul, Mumbai

One can't ask the smokers to quit abruptly, you need to give them alternatives. The other thing one needs to cut down is the supply from the manufacturer's end. Putting higher taxes, is one inefficient means, but probably putting limit to quantity being manufactured and creating gap between demand and supply, should do the trick. You have both the consumer as well as the supplier of tobacco and its allied products will be affected.

What exactly we need today is one-on-one counselling and strengthening the minds of all those people who have been addicted to it, one-on-one will be a very tedious job but you can collect a handful of such people and counsel on the second. This means you can organise a 1-hour movie for all of them by showing all inspirational videos which will help build positivity in them as what I think the root cause of this problem is negativity and thoughts which compel them to do so.

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