Opinion

I've smoked since I was 14, but it's time to ban tobacco

Contributed

CAN anyone give me any good reason for growing tobacco?

We've banned other health destroyers like DDT and asbestos, so when are we going to get serious about giving this other noxious substance the boot?

We go to war to control the growing of poppies that supply the cocaine trade, yet we continue to condone cultivation of a crop that kills millions of people around the world.

Third world countries suffer from tobacco smoking not only through consumption and bad health.

Land used for producing tobacco isn't available to grow food. At a time when the world's population is hungrier than ever, this is lunacy.

For the good of all, this smoking scourge needs to be eliminated.

And don't get the idea that I'm a righteous soul who's never felt the pleasure of a nicotine puff.

I've smoked since I was 14 years of age and think about quitting several times a day.

I do give up on occasions, but have never managed to stop the habit completely.

Like most of the smokers I know, I wish I'd never lit that first cigarette and gone on to waste thousands of dollars which could have been more productively spent.

Australia is on the right track, leading the world in displaying those gruesome images of cancerous wounds and asthmatic children on cigarette packets, and with the introduction of plain packaging.

If that's what it takes to stop kids from taking up smoking, then I'm all for it.

Those gory photos are also a turn-off for current smokers, according to the latest research, which has shown that plain packaging - introduced last December - discourages people from buying the demon weed.

The Irish are following Australia's lead by introducing plain packaging next year.

Some anti-smoking crusaders say this doesn't go far enough and are advocating a total ban on tobacco.

Strangely, the British Government hasn't made up its mind about the effectiveness of plain packaging.

Prime Minister David Cameron said the decision not to go ahead with plain packaging for cigarettes was taken "for the very simple reason that there is not yet sufficient evidence for it and there's considerable legal uncertainty about it".

Naturally, cigarette manufacturers opposed the move towards plain packaging - profits were at stake.

The only flimsy argument they could come up with was that "smokers' rights" were to be infringed.

Now that the price of fags in Australia is such that you practically need a bank loan to buy a pack and, as a consequence of this monetary deterrent, the smoking fraternity is dwindling, these companies have no doubt shifted their marketing focus to poorer countries where health regulations are non-existent.

Shouldn't we do all the world a favour by ditching the nasty habit? We and our passive participants will discover a new level of health and rid the globe of a significant source of pollution in the form of cigarette butts.

Smoking is the largest preventable cause of cancer death in Australia, and probably around the world.

No other common consumer product comes near tobacco in terms of death and disease in its long-term users.

Cigarette profiteer the Philip Morris company launched its "I deserve to be heard" campaign, urging smokers to exercise their rights and resist tactics to reduce smoking rates. This campaign is beneath contempt.

I've seen images of an eight-year-old Indonesian child smoking a cigarette ... and was revolted. Why would anyone want to encourage this harmful practice?

Cut out this poisonous business at its source by banning tobacco.

And by the way, I'm making a determined effort to quit...

 

Baby bonus a fortune to girls

PUTTING birth control implants in Aboriginal girls as young as 11 is disturbing enough.

But consider that two girls close to this age asked for these devices to be removed - so they could become pregnant and receive the Federal Government's baby bonus.

This extraordinary story was published in the Northern Territory News. A health worker had to tell the girls that they were too late - the baby bonus was being scrapped.

This contentious baby bonus funding for eligible mothers with newborns or adopted children under 16 will no longer apply from March 1 next year.

Under the bonus, stay-at-home mothers with incomes under $150,000 received $5000 on the birth of their first child and $3000 for each subsequent baby.

That would seem like a fortune for any disadvantaged 11-year-old. How sad that these girls wishing to procreate for profit can see a future only through pregnancy.

About 16 million girls under 18 years of age give birth each year, according to the UN Population Fund.

The fund marked World Population Day last month by spotlighting the issue of adolescent pregnancy.

UNFPA executive director Babatunde Osotimehin called on governments to take measures that enabled adolescent girls to make responsible life choices and to provide necessary educational and social support.

He added: "Every young girl, regardless of where she lives, or her economic circumstances, has the right to fulfil her human potential. Today, too many girls are denied that right. We can change that, and we must."

Topics:  opinion tobacco vonnie's view yvonne gardiner



Shorten's national caucus for Australia's first people

QUICK VISIT: Federal member for Oxley Milton Dick hosted Opposition Leader Bill Shorten at Hymba Yumba Community Hub in Springfield where they met with indigenous students and announced plans to form a national caucus aimed at increasing representation, voter enrolment and party representation among Australia's first people.

Opposition leader visits students at Hymba Yumba

NAME AND SHAME: Intoxicated driver cops $1100 fine

IN COURT: A man was fined more than $1000 for driving under the influence at Redbank.

Every Monday the QT publishes the names of drink and drug drivers

'Let's stop apologising for Ipswich'

Ipswich Mall, 2016.

The sooner we stop indulging stereotypes, the sooner they'll stop

Local Partners

MOVIE REVIEW: Matt Damon's The Great Wall gets lost

The Great Wall feels about as artisanal as a fortune cookie. Its underlying message is just as trite.

Paul Murray listens to regions

Paul Murray is taking his Sky News show on the road to shine a spotlight on regional Australia.

Radio broadcaster wants viewers to 'turn up and fire up'

Why Hollywood’s siding with Brad Pitt over Angelina Jolie

Jolie may have the kids, but Pitt has custody of Hollywood

Tensions high at pointy end of MKR's round two

Things are really heating up on My Kitchen Rules.

Games are being played around the My Kitchen Rules table

Jungle Jay sent packing from I'm a Celebrity

I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Here! contestant Jay Laga'aia with Keira.

BIG friendly giant Jay Laga'aia has been eliminated from I'm A Celeb

Carson Kressley brings 'camp' to I'm a Celebrity jungle

"I am not all Park Avenue and daffodils” ... Carson Kressley.

Meet the "campest” campmate to star on I'm a Celebrity.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi mystery already solved

FILE- This undated file photo provided by Disney shows Daisey Ridley as Rey, left, and John Boyega as Finn, in a scene from the film, \"Star Wars: The Force Awakens.\" Hasbro said it is changing its Star Wars Monopoly set after an 8-year-old girl became upset that Rey, the movie's female heroine, was not included as a figure along with Darth Vader and Kylo Ren. (Disney/Lucasfilm via AP, File) MANDATORY CREDIT

A key mystery surrounding the title of episode eight has been solved

Expert: Why renters, home buyers may struggle

Matusik Property Insights director Michael Matusik.

What's next for the city's housing market

Massive seaside development of 3200 lots

DESIRABLE LIFESTYLE: The masterplan for the proposed Elliott Heads Estate.

"There's nothing else left along the coastline of Queensland now"

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

50 more high rise buildings planned for Brisbane CBD

Height limits have been scrapped for Brisbane CBD

800,000 more people expected to work in city over next 20 years

This new property trend is emerging in Ipswich

Darren Boettcher.

Property owners seizing new opportunity

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!