And the point is …

Well, for a start the point is on the pictured needle attached to a syringe. The text reads,"smoking is addictive don’t start". The message is on the back of the cigarette pack. Before you see the message you must have first purchased the cigarettes. I suspect that purchasing cigarettes is the act of one who already smokes. When you get the packet, the lid is flicked open from the front so, there’s no need to look at, let alone read, the said packets backside. If the intention is to stop people smoking why not just ban the sale of cigarettes and, forsake the enormous revenue raised thereby for both manufacturer and exchequer?

Governments and health authorities must be seen to be spreading the right message but, placing the adverts on the coffin nail packs themselves, does seem like an exercise in futility. The smoker is already paying a financial penalty, to maintain their habit, which theoretically should prove a sufficient deterrent.

As a smoker, whose first indulgence in the pernicious weed occurred at a pre-teen age even though Iwas brought up in a non-smoking strictly tee-total household. I also accept that it can lead to health problems, especially as an irritant to a latent condition but the constant reminders of this fact have little effect. On several occassions I had thrown off the habit, only tobe lured back by the constant refernces to  it on national no smoking days. I am also aware of the addictive properties of caffeine, my most recent return to the nicotine habit having been a direct result of an attempted ban on caffeine consumption by my physician.

In earlier times, I indulged (at times quite heavily so) in the partaking of purportedly addictive substances which were not legally available.I failed to become addicted; these illicit substances turned out, in my case, to be a passing fad.

The question is, would their free availability over the counter have encouraged me to further pursue the habit, bearing in mind that they were already relatively easy to obtain? If their illegal status was a deterrent to my continued use, then it’s time that the government outlawed cigarettes on the same principle!

There could, of course, be an ethical principle at stake; if land is used to grow a cash crop (tobacco) where food crops would be more appropriate and, if the producer is not being paid a fair price for his commodity, this for me would be a more compelling consideration should I, once again, attempt to discard the habit.

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