There are many dangers of smoking to the body, to the immediate family, to the society, and to the environment. As everyone knows that, cigarette will cause lots of disease even death. One of the main dangers of smoking is due to Nicotine. It raises both the heart rate and blood pressure. Smoking also caused number of smoke related diseases such as lung cancer, breathing disabilities, blood clots. Another one of the dangers of the smoking is that smoking not only diminishes the health of the smokers but also hurt the health of the non smokers around him through secondhand smoking. According to the Department of Health in UK, over 80,000 deaths per year are due to smoking, it means that in each day, there will about 300 people die because of smoking, but about 8.5 million people still smoke in England today. That’s why the government promised new action to tackle tobacco. Now, let’s move away from the second part and switch over to the next part which is government policies. I think this part of my presentation is most important, so I plan to spend more time on it.
The first government policy which I want to talk about is taxation. Look at this diagram, it’s clearly to see that UK taxation revenue increase sharply. British government has increased tax on tobacco, so the increasing price reduces the cigarettes consumption and encourages people to give up smoking. So, I think high tobacco tax is recognized as a good health and economic policy.
Another government policy which I want to concerned is advertising control. In the UK, the government bans advertise tobacco products on billboards, in newspapers and magazines and limited advertising to one A5 sized ad per outlet. Moreover, Tobacco sponsorship of domestic sporting events was also banned.
Referring again to UK government polices, I’d like to discuss they are effective or not. As the last section shows that, there are two major ways to reduce cigarette consumption and was adopted by UK government. One is taxation, by taxing the importer or retail outlets stores in a higher tax rate in order to supply of cigarettes tend to be decrease, therefore the price rises up as the cost increases. When consumers are facing a higher price, they will be less willing to buy. The other is advertising control, although efforts by governments to limit or ban tobacco advertising, the tobacco industry continues to spend billions of pounds worldwide promoting its products. However, with less and less help of advertising and promotion, the effectiveness of promotion will decline. Well, at the last section, I’d like to give you a brief conclusion. Tobacco products cause addiction and lots of harmful effects towards smokers. Taxation and advertising control are two main methods to control the consumption of cigarette. However, it is apparently not effective though. Since cigarette is a special demerit good. It creates negative externalities which lead to a reduction in social economic welfare. Higher taxes cause prices to rise but did not lead to a fall in demand. Therefore, regulation and legislation will be the most useful ways.