Do Anti-Smoking Drives Work?


Health warning on cigarette packet Singapore became the first country in Asia in 2004 to show graphic warnings featuring gory images to increase awareness about the health risks attached to smoking. In fact, the law required the cigarette packs to have up to 50 percent of its front and back cover showing the image; taking its anti-smoking campaign to the next level.

Likewise, in the UK, a £6.3 million hard-hitting anti-smoking campaign was released targeting the teen population. This campaign spoke the language of the teens. It highlighted how smoking can affect sex lives because of impotence, bad teeth, wrinkles and the unattractive smell that lingers after lighting up.

In India too, some hard-hitting campaigns and jingles like, "With a cigarette in my hand, I felt like a man," people were exposed to the harsh realities of smoking. Recently, Aamir Khan, who believes in promoting a social cause, supported the anti-smoking drive in his latest release, Ghajini. The scene, which has drawn accolades from the anti-smoking lobby, showed gang of hooligans smoking in a mall which is objected to by one of the actress.

Mild Seven Cigarette pack pictorial warning Efforts like these work as they portray public smoking as an illegal activity,
and that is why Union Health Minster Anbumani Ramadoss is aiming at seeking an increase in budgetary allocation for the anti-tobacco campaign and plans to use part of cess collected from tobacco sales for the purpose.

The government now plans to intensify its public awareness programme. The minister claims that, "90 per cent (success) was achieved by public awareness and voluntary compliance and 10 per cent by the authorities."

At present, the budgetary allocation for anti-tobacco campaign is Rs 450 crore and Ramadoss would seek to increase it by another Rs 100-125 crore annually to push it forward. So, whether or not the budget is allocated, let’s do our bit by supporting the cause, and stop people from smoking in public places, because it's our right.

Image Source:

Pictorial warning on cigarette pack

Graphics on cigarette packets


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