The UK is one of the few countries that have successfully waged war against smoking. Recent studies on smoking in the country have shown significant reductions of up to 25 percent in the number of adult smokers. This has not been arrived at lightly.
Given that smoking continues to be the leading cause of avoidable deaths in many countries around the world, it’s such an encouraging triumph to see a country’s fight against smoking bear fruits.
Few countries have come even close to the results that The UK has achieved. Here is how they did it.
It is not a secret that advertising has a very huge impact not only our opinions concerning certain products but also our choices about what we use. This is why advertising was one of the first areas where the UK sought to influence first.
Between 2014 and 2016, the government spent a lot of effort implementing a tobacco products directive that sought to ban certain types of advertising. For example, the program prohibited the placement of tobacco advertising in any television programs in the country. This was the first step that set the war against tobacco on the right path.
Regulating smoking areas
In many countries afflicted by widespread tobacco addiction, there are very lax laws on smoke-free zones. Back in 2006, the UK corrected this by implementing and enforcing a legal ban on smoking in workplaces. After that, they added more smoke-free zones to their list including publicly shared spaces.
This move made it even harder for smokers to smoke on a whim. For one to smoke, they had to look for an area where smoking wasn’t prohibited to avoid getting into trouble with the authorities.
Facilitating vaping adoption
As the years went by, it became harder to wipe out all tobacco products in the country. So the tobacco elimination program became lax on their anti-vaping laws. However, they tightened their leash on smokers. This made more smokers switch to vaping which is healthier than smoking and causes less damage to the environment.
Although vaping products couldn’t be advertised through television programs, online blogs became a safe haven for vaping products such as vape pens, e-liquids, and vape mods. Even today most countries trying to fight tobacco use still allow websites and blogs to advertise vaping and e-cigarette products.
Helping people trying to quit smoking
To help the country recover from the effects of tobacco addiction, the country created programs to empower smokers to quit the harmful habit. This was accomplished through the creation of cheaper methods of quitting smoking that were easily accessible and affordable to all. The anti-tobacco campaign also created awareness on the many negative effects of tobacco on the health of smokers, the people around them and the environment.
This motivated many smokers to seek help quitting the behavior.
The battle against tobacco in the UK was one of the most successful around the globe. It took many years of strategizing and a lot of funds to reach a positive outcome. In the end, the country ended up reducing the number of smokers in the country and facilitating the adoption of vaping as a safer alternative to smoking and also as a means to help smokers quit.Any country can achieve similar results by learning from the example that The UK set for them.