Ireland outlawed smoking in closed public spaces and at workplaces on March 29, 2004. Making Ireland the first country in the world to institute an outright ban on smoking in workplaces, with fines of up to €3,000 on the spot.
This year, 11 years later, Ireland -as the first country in Europe-made a big step forward again and passed a legislation, requiring cigarettes to be sold in plain boxes, with a standard dark wrapper, only containing large health warnings and images of possible diseases.
This law should prevent children from taking up smoking. Poor little camel, you will be retiring and only brand names will be printed small, using similar fonts on all packets.
“Standardized packaging will strip away the illusions created by shiny, colorful cigarette packets, and replace them with shocking images showing the real consequences of smoking,”
I looked at some of the images and it’s gross.
I do understand why countries feel, that this might be necessary.
The first thing my husband said was “I am going to buy me one of this cigarette-box-cover-thingies. I looked at him and thought about it. How would I react, if there will be a cigarette pack with disturbing health pictures laying around in the future? For me, it would be a reminder about what still might come. Lets face it, I smoked for 35 years and even though I quit, that doesn’t mean I am “out of the woods” now. Chances that I will have to face a smoke related disease one day, are high. A cigarette pack like this would be a daily reminder for me, the ex-smoker, of what might be coming my way. So, I will buy my husband this cigarette-box-cover-thingie myself. “Here Honey, Merry Christmas!”
We had friends over yesterday, cooked out, sat in the yard and talked about it. My husband still smokes and so do some of our friends, but the majority of us were nonsmokers or ex-smokers
We discussed the new law in Ireland for a while and it was interesting. We all went back on memory lane and found out, we all started smoking the same way. We all were under aged, somewhere in the age between 12-16, and got cigarettes handed to us, either from friends or siblings. That’s how we all started, we wanted to be with the cool kids, wanted to be one of them.
None of us could recall the brand we started out with, or how the first pack we bought looked like. But…we all could remember the kids we smoked with? I found that interesting. We all could buy cigarettes anywhere and everywhere, there were no age restrictions.
We didn’t wake up one day and decided “Hey, lets become a smoker” when we were young. I don’t think anybody really decides something like this…it happens.
I am trying to wrap my head around this. We are in need of a plain packaging law to prevent children from smoking in the long run, even though we already have laws in place, that don’t allow anybody under the age of 18 to buy tobacco products???
I am afraid the younger generation will follow our footsteps. The new trend now are e-cigarettes, same devil just has a different name. It’s everywhere, shiny, legal advertisement for electronic devices, offering different flavors like banana pudding and apple caramel. Long therm studies won’t be available for another 5-10 years…until then, they will try to hook as many kids as possible. There are no age restrictions for e-cigarettes. They can buy them anywhere and everywhere.
A friend of mine made us all laugh, when she said “God forbid and let them put pictures of obese people on my chocolate”. My friend is right, we have way too many obese people in the USA. Should we sell Hamburgs in a box with a warning for stroke and heart attack? Should there be a 300 lbs overweight Goddess on the candy wrapper? Imagine a donuts box with pictures of a dentist office and cavities? Should a politician be allowed to outlaw sugary soda drinks in a city like New York?
Take alcohol for an instant, should’t a dramatic picture of a liver destroyed by cirrhosis help people to stay sober? Wouldn’t we all think about a bottle of wine twice, if the label would show a homeless guy laying in the streets?
Would any of this change my habits? I doubt it. I would come up with a nice wine-cover-up-thingie, if I would have to and would still buy my bottle of Merlot on the weekend.
Children of smokers will more likely follow their lead and will be smoking as well, same goes for drinking. I don’t think we need more laws protection the younger generations. I think we need to be role models. Information is the key, conversation might do trick.
Germany, as the first state, offers now classes in schools teaching kids everything about Nicotine addiction. A different approach, maybe the right one?