In many parts of the world, smoking is a widespread and harmful vice. The public health costs of smoking are enormous, and young girls around the world are being encouraged by the purveyors of these evil smoke sticks to take up the habit.
It is an unfortunate fact of like that tweens and teenaged girls are particularly susceptible and vulnerable to the effects of advertising. They will easily succumb to the desire for cute products such as handbags or pink cell phones plugged by young women on television, the internet and movies. Equally, more harmful products such as alcohol, drugs and even cigarettes can be easily marketed to young women.
While many Western countries have made great strides in banning the marketing of tobacco products to young children, not all governments are so enlightened. In countries such as Jamaica, thousands of young girls are being enticed to light up as the result of a targeted campaign by the tobacco industry, which will result in tremendous adverse effects for these young women down the road.
In Jamaica, it is estimated that eighty percent of women who suffer from lung cancer do so as a result of cigarette smoking. Each young woman who takes up the habit today not only harms her healthy prospects in the future, but also possibly will result in the same harm being done to her children through the adverse effects of passive smoking.
In a tobacco free world, these problems would be greatly reduced, and the benefits for both society as a whole and for individuals would be immense. While it may be impractical to ban the use of nicotine based products there are certainly actions that can be taken to reduce their appeal to the next generation of customers, and save them from this unhealthy addiction.
Chief amongst these is the prevention of advertising campaigns involving cigarettes. Let our young women be tempted by advertisements for cell phone, hand bags and clothing certainly; but keep the advertising industry from promoting more harmful products.