Do all those anti-smoking measures actually work?
A text with “Smoking kills”, a photo of a cancerous growth or just extra excise duty on a pack of cigarettes. Everything is being done to discourage smokers, but do all these measures actually work? The number of smokers is falling every year, what are the real reasons for quitting smoking?
Young people are stupid
We don't claim that young people are stupid, but the people who come up with anti-smoking measures apparently do. Instead of appealing to the intelligence of young people and their receptivity to new information, young people are seen as stupid lemmings who are immediately seduced by a colorful label on a pack of cigarettes. Yet young people smoke less and less, perhaps because they simply have other interests that are more interesting?
Adults are even dumber
Apparently, heads of state think smokers smoke only because they don't know how dangerous cigarette smoke is. That with the right information everyone would stop, and that you just need some willpower. It is not the lack of spine, but the many addictive substances in tobacco (not just nicotine) and the habits that have become ingrained for years. You really won't get rid of that in a few weeks, even with a set of nicotine patches. Electric smoking or vaping with e-cigarettes is an alternative to the actions you normally perform with a cigarette. In England they recommend e-cigarettes as an alternative, at least for a temporary period. In the Netherlands, they treat e-cigarettes and e-liquids as tobacco, with high excise duties and neutral packaging.
Discouraging smokers is a good thing, because smoking is bad for your health. But a derogatory tone and a frontal attack only creates resistance, which you can see in smoking advocates, smoking clubs and smoking forums. Rather than portray smokers as fools who need to learn a lesson, we might be able to help smokers get rid of their addiction, provide alternatives, and take them seriously.