Is smoking THAT harmful? … compared to drinking

CNA recently reported that the health officials are seeking proposals on amendments of the smoking act.

Health officials seek public views on proposed amendments to Smoking Act
By Channel NewsAsia | Posted: 02 August 2009 2157 hrs

SINGAPORE: Underage smokers who get caught lighting up could soon face fines of up to S$500.

This is one of several proposed changes to the Smoking Act, aimed at reversing the rising trend of smoking in young adults aged 18-29 years.

Other proposed amendments include lowering tar and nicotine levels, and prohibiting shisha and other harmful alternative forms of tobacco.

If the proposals go through, retailers will have their tobacco licences revoked the first time they are caught selling cigarettes to underage youths in school uniforms or to those under the age of 12.

Tobacco advertising and promotion is currently banned, and the health authorities now want to prohibit tobacco companies from sponsoring arts-related events from the end of 2010.

The health authorities will be seeking public consultation over the next four weeks on the proposed amendments.

Members of the public can log on to http://www.hpb.gov.sg or http://www.moh.gov.sg to provide their feedback on the measures.

– CNA/yb

Okay, no doubt that smoking as been link to cancer and other complications and its driving up medical costs, but really compared to alcohol is smoke really that harmful? We spent so much money and effort on combating smoking and smokers, but how many times have you seen people drive a car into the bus stop injuring them when they are smoking? How many times have we seen kids vomitting or fighting inside/outside bars killing and injuring others and themselves because of smoking? Or how many times have we seen wives or children beaten up because someone smoked too much? Shouldn’t alcohol be even more lethal?

I don’t think that it will be helpful to have additional laws and fines to prevent youths from smoking. If they want to smoke they will find a way to smoke, even if you put a death penalty around it (okay, that’s too much!). Worst still, we will drive smoking youths underground.

I think its more important to understand why youths smoke and the social contexts in which they smoke and work on those. I remember that I start to try out smoking when I was working in Mac after secondary school. The reason I tried it was because a number of friends I looked up to are smoking and being the rebellious me I had to be different. I continue to be a mini-social smoker for some time.

Good thing for me is that I could never get addicted to smoking no matter how hard I tried, I just don’t really like the taste of cigarettes smoke in the mouth.

I think smoking, like drinking, has something to do with our genes. Some people pick up smoking/drinking easily because their genes are predisposed to like smoking/drinking. Others like me, no matter how I tried to smoke and drink just don’t like the taste of neither. The other is, of course, our environment which provided the opportunities for us to pick up those habits.

Youths when they want to rebel, no law can stop them.

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