By Jason Moore
THE European Union this week announced the end of so-called “light” cigarettes in their latest attempt to get smokers to kick the habit. Tobacco advertising is already banned and smoking is barred in a large number of places. The Blair government in Britain is looking at a total ban in public places and Spain is considering similar legislation. War on smoking is clearly underway. This is all very well, the government is seen to be doing all they can, but they are not really getting to the root of the problem. The best way to get people to give-up smoking is to outlaw tobacco. Make it illegal. Pass legislation that no more cigarettes are to be sold and anyone caught smoking in public will be fined. Simple. I would expect if this tough line was introduced the number of smokers would fall by a massive percentage, hospitals would not have to cope with the small army of patients suffering from smoking related diseases and everyone would be more healthy. All the millions of pounds/euros invested in anti-smoking campaigns could be saved. But of course this will never come about because even though people's health is suffering millions of pounds/euros is raised every year for governments thanks to the incredible amounts of tax which is paid on cigarettes. If tax on beer is raised there is an outcry but if tax on cigarettes is increased everyone thinks it's a really good idea. So let's be honest and stop messing about with stupid legislation which will not deter anyone. Governments can prove that they are serious about tobacco in one single swoop. Just outlaw it and it will no longer be an issue. It will harm many big corporations and government funds and even an ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer in Britain would lose his job but at the end of the day smoking kills and we will all be much healthier. But this isn't going to happen is less of the Public Relations and let's have the truth for a change. Smoking is the only thing that can be taxed where no-one says a word.


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