The government intends to strip cigarette packets of all but the bare facts – death kills! No logos, no tempting colour, no fashionable graphics, just the death/health warning. If it really is the case that cigarettes are basically a poison then surely this is the time when they ought to be sold under regulation, maybe one packet per week?
But the revenue from their sale is far too tempting for the government, even though it is a kick in the butt for the economy when it comes to sorting out the health problems related to their use. The problem is not with the ones who already use the product, the problem is how to prevent children from taking up this despicable habit in te first place. Where do they get their supply? What is it about cigarettes that makes them so appealing? Is it the nicotine? Is it the rebel aspect? Is it the peer pressure? The need to emulate? Ask the kids who smoke. Get the answers and then tackle the problem from there. Once they’re hooked it becomes an uphill struggle.
Controversial bit coming up: I believe in aversion therapy mainly because I have been exposed to it, I understand it and I know it works. If the little groups of behind-the-bike-shed kids are infiltrated and given a toke on a particularly nasty cigarette that makes them feel nauseous (without actually making them sick), tasted of vomit and the paper was impregnated with chilli juice so it stung, they might be put off. Drastic? I know several people will wave their arms and declaim this as unethical and tantamount to child abuse, but standing back and allowing them to start on this path is worse.
It is a controversial subject and many parents will say – my child is sensible, they know it is wrong and won’t do it. The parents are wrong. Children change, peer pressure is so strong and so important to the clique that they may well succumb against their better judgement. Imagine the number of times parents have sat, stunned, in a Headmaster’s office to be told of their child’s misdemeanor. Up until the child confesses those parents would have sworn blind that their child would not, never, no-way, have done this reprehensible thing. That is a parent’s role, to believe in their child unstintingly, but it is the role of every adult to prevent children from harming themselves.
I’m off the soap box, let the comments come.