The most controversial health campaign of recent times – do you support it? 309



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Eradicate all tobacco over the next 25 years? It sounds like they’re reaching for the stars but Professors Robert Beaglehole and Ruth Bonita, from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, have called upon the United Nations to support their claims and begin a worldwide campaign against tobacco.

According to The Daily Mail, the pair claim that the sale of tobacco should be phased out over the next 25 years. They have said that one billion deaths from smoking could be averted by the end of the century if action starts now, however their major challenge is that they need the support from government – right around the world to do so.

Tobacco is currently taxed at 60 per cent here in Australia – and we’re one of the cheaper countries. This will be a struggle as governments right around the world are making serious revenue from the sale of tobacco. So will they be able to stand up, walk away from the money and follow through with the right thing to do.

Professor Beaglehole has said, ‘The time has come for the world to acknowledge the unacceptability of the damage being done by the tobacco industry and work towards a world essentially free from the legal and illegal sale of tobacco products.

“A world where tobacco is out of sight, out of mind, and out of fashion – yet not prohibited – is achievable in less than three decades from now, but only with full commitment from governments, international agencies, such as UN and WHO (World Health Organisation), and civil society”.

Requiring the support of industry bodies and the government is incredibly important. However we’re also faced with the question – what about the people?

Do we believe that this is what needs to be done? Or are we too scared that taxes will increase and pensions will decrease if the government doesn’t have this revenue? Share your thoughts – do you support this controversial campaign? 

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. There are smokers that just can’t give up

    6 REPLY
    • You can. There are a lot of ways these days to help you. You have to weigh it up– life or probable early death! It’s a terrible way to go!

    • Everyone can quit, I didn’t think I could do it after smoking for 35 years, when I quit I couldn’t sleep through the night, without waking for a cigarette. But I quit and have been off them for 11 years now.

    • There are only those willing to suffer detox and those that aren’t. If a person was marooned on an island they would soon find they can do it. I went through the usual quiet hell giving up 34 yrs ago, only to be told by friends who still smoked that I was “lucky”. Not right!

    • That is why they are talking about 25 years. Hoping that many, many people will never get hooked, but understanding that it is one of the hardest addictions to beat.

  2. I’ve been a Hypnotherapist for 44yrs. And I don’t mind one bit that 50% of my business is wiped out. I’d personally like this insidious substance be totally razed to the ground. How dare the tobacco companies put ammonia in the filters! The nicotine that combines with the ammonia makes the combined salt even more addictive!!!!! How dare these companies sell you a product and treat you – the patron – with disdain!!!!!

  3. I don’t smoke but cigarettes are a legal product, if the Government was fairdinkum it would ban them all together, instead they keep putting the price up and sucking the life out of those who do smoke

    5 REPLY
  4. I don’t smoke, but the government will never ban cigarettes because THEY get too much money from them. And all that would do is increase the sales of the illegal under the counter chop chop tobacco. (Which smells soooooo bad)

  5. I smoked till age 70, no ill affects , been to hospital once, and would only go to Doctor 3 or 4 times a year. I know many in 80/90s still smoke & are reasonably healthy. Alcohol causes more problems as that affects everybody in some way.

    2 REPLY
    • I am non smoker but common sense tells me your right, we never hear of coward punches or domestic violence being done by someone who smokes.

    • They would be the low percentage of people that get through Dawn. It gets the majority of smokers in the end.I, myself would not like to take those odds!

  6. I would like to see real figures about the cost of smoking on hospitals against revenue raised

    3 REPLY
    • Here are some figjres that were fudged by the quit mob. Yes I smoke and am getting sick of people bashing it. Cigarette packets had figures relating to deaths by ….
      The smoking related was highest at 19,019. First, related deaths, lung cancer, non smoker, still related. I downloaded and read the document, of the 19,019 deaths, approximately 70 something percent were over 70 years of age. FACT.

  7. It It would be wonderful to eradicate deaths related to tobacco. Lung cancer and Congestive Obstructive Pulmonary Disease is caused by exposure to other toxins other than tobacco. The issue is much broader and more complex than simply eradicating tobacco. If 1 billion deaths are averted how does our already crowded planet cope with this increase. What happens to those employed with in the industry. What will replace the vast amounts of money that is generated in taxes or will the money saved in health care balance this out. Would governments then government consider phasing out alcohol? The World Health Organisation states “each year, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) cause more than 36 million deaths worldwide, representing around 63 per cent of all mortality.” A very high proportion of these are related to drinking and smoking. Then perhaps do governments will target Fast Food and diet. Will smokers drinkers and the overweight be further discriminated against? How will our already overburdened planet cope with the resultant increase in population. I don’t smoke, but I have a parent with COPD; drink very rarely, don’t use illegal drugs and admit to being overweight. I have no vested interest by way of shares or involvement in the sale of tobacco or alcohol. I believe society needs to consider all the issues involved in phasing out any currently legal substances; economic, health, environmental and population before whole heartedly supporting further erosions of personal freedom and our right to choose how we live our lives. Phasing out the sale of tobacco over a 25 year period may be a good thing in one or two sectors, society needs to consider the bigger picture.

  8. As a past smoker I do understand how hard it is to give it up. It’s not just a case of just stopping.surely its a choice that is up to them…..what about alchoholand related deaths and illnesses. I also was bought up with an alcholic father….not pleasant.

    5 REPLY
  9. Give me a break. 1 billion? The usual exaggeration. If current statistics are correct then let us ban automobiles as they cause a great deal of deaths. How about banning guns.. they kill millions each yeat..Oh, and lets not forget pharmeceuticals and people who die unnecessarily from side effects of statins, warfarin, vaccinations etc etc.
    While we are at it, let’s ban wars..they kill a few each year, and also tell Saudi Arabia that beheading 25 people per week adds up to a sizeable number by the turn of the century.
    …and old age, let’s solve that puzzle so that people do not die prematurely; what was it some politician said? People can and should live to be 150 years old?
    Banning something gives a nice warm feeling to those who like peeing in pockets, but it resolves NOTHING.

    1 REPLY
  10. I am non smoker, but I think smokers are being bullied, it is a legal product, they ought to concentrate on hard drug users

  11. I think people should have a choice, we are so controlled these days with so many things in life now, people have been smoking world wide for centuries and many have lived long lives, I think they should

  12. Continued I think the people should be looking more at how the foods are processed and all the additives that goes into what we eat, plus the fallout from everything that is sent up into the atmosphere and fumes from cars, trucks planes and so on

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