Four million unnecessary deaths each year ,11 000 every day. A cigarette is the only consumer product which when used as directed kills its consumer.
If swift action is not taken ,tobacco will soon become the leading cause of death worldwide ,causing more deaths than HIV , tuberculosis ,maternal mortality , accidents ,homicide and suicide combined . It is estimated that tobacco attributable deaths will rise to 8.4 million in 2020 and reach 10 million annual deaths in about 2030. Tobacco use is already the leading cause of preventable death ,disease and disability in the world today.
The health impacts of tobacco is for example the increased risks of cancer and heart disease .Recent research has also highlighted harmful effects on the health of women and youth. For children , much of the health impacts of tobacco comes from smoking by adults in the environments where children live ,study ,play and work . The children breath the air contaminated by tobacco smoke .
The large multinational tobacco companies are largely responsible for the tremendous increases in smoking. They have used their enormous political and financial power to influence governments and promote their products. It’s marketing campaigns are executed across a number of different countries , including through the use of satellite television. The tobacco industry is a global industry. It’s multinationals are stepping up their activities in developing countries in search of new markets.
A lively international process will encourage governments to implement stronger tobacco control policies at national level. The European Union is looking for pictures scary enough to get people to stop smoking cigarettes. The European commission began soliciting pictures to go along with health warnings on all cigarette packs. The EU will buy the rights to the pictures .
Before they start appearing in October 2004 , the pictures will be tested in each of the 15 EU nations to see how they are received. Those approved will go into an EU photo library from which national governments can select pictures to put on the warnings. The pictures could include colour photos of diseased mouths and lungs to illustrate that smoking causes fatal lung cancer or smoking can cause a slow and painful death. The warnings will take up at least 40 percent of the back cover of the cigarette packages. The new warnings are part of an effort to cut the number of smokers. A survey released last year said the graphic health warnings were noticed by 90 percent of smokers polled and 50 percent said the graphic photos increased their motivation to quit.
There’s also something else that’s new if nicotine patches ,hypnosis and acupuncture don’t work . You might want to try the digital age’s answer to the problem of how to quit smoking. Scientists are developing software that creates a series of flashing images on your mobile phone that hinders memory tasks the mind must perform to build the pleasurable images . As soon as someone feels an urge to smoke they can switch on an anti-smoking program and feel their cravings melt away. The computer screen shows a series of black and white squares that change colour randomly , it’s called a flickery dots display. The dots create what is termed ‘visual noise ‘ and interferes with the pleasurable images the mind associates with the object of desire. These results only show that we can reduce the reported strength of cravings ,not that our smokers actually went on to smoke less. All you need to have is reasonable screen resolutions but you have to imagine that instead of having a button to launch a snake game ,you have a ‘stop your craving’ button.
If that could be established then a dots game could form the basis of therapy that would work alongside nicotine-replacement patches and future vaccines.