AMERICAN VIEW OF SMOKING THEN AND NOW
AMERICAN VIEW OF SMOKING THEN AND NOW
Smoking was a consideration when someone wanted to relieve himself from stress; it was the way of relaxation and even a way to enjoy life. Smoking was not seen as a harmful act till about 50 years ago. Most of the tobacco companies are not ready to accept the fact that smoking can cause health complications and more so different form of cancers (Porter). For instance, lung cancer and another form of serious diseases, these illnesses shorten the life expectancy of individuals. In the past, between the 1960s and 1970s, the Americans used to smoke, and many individuals were affected either directly or as secondary smokers as smoking was the order of the day. Many people died from the complications caused by the habit (Breen). After the 1970s, the health officials examined the smokers giving a different view of cigarette smoking.
The core of this essay is on the America’s view of smoking in the period of late 1960s to late 1970. It was viewed as being cool, glamorous, socially accepted but this view is not the same in the year 2005 to present as smoking is nowadays considered as a threat to the health of human beings, it is so dangerous that it can be considered a vice (Saad).
Before version: the period between the 1960s and 1970s
Smoking was seen as a way of relaxing, and most of the people in films would smoke every time they were relaxing, the films were full of smokers and that many people who were watching the films would always give cigarettes a try. TV shows and programs never saw any problems airing programs with smokers as the actors (Breen). Advertisements displayed smokers and those who were doing the advertisements used to demonstrate for the viewers the process of smoking and urge them always to smoke in case they wanted to experience relaxation moments.
The advertisements used to stress to the smokers how the brand they were promoting was healthier and that the competitors’ brand was not poisonous. None of the tobacco companies accepted that cigarette smoking could cause cancer and other health complications.
Some dentists and physicians would endorse smoking of cigarettes to help their clients relax peacefully, the health physicians themselves were in the adverts, promoting a given brand of cigarette (Gately). The packaging of the cigarettes was meant to lure the youths to try the habit of smoking. The packaging was appealing to the eye of the smokers giving them more urge to smoke from one brand to another.
The legal sector also did very little as far as regulations of cigarette smoking are concerned. There were no set-aside smoking zones as smokers would smoke everywhere for example in the offices, hospitals, restaurants, in the planes when they are on board. Research shows that individuals would not mind about the welfare of none smokers since any place a person felt like smoking a cigarette; they would do so without any restrictions (Mader). If a person tried to oppose a smoking habit, he would be viewed as a backward person with no knowledge of what life enjoyment entails.
As the smoking habits intensified, the number patients that were admitted to hospitals due to cancer were on the rise, most of the deaths were claimed on the cigarette as most of the patients were diagnosed with lung cancer. The deaths raised an alarm on the medical providers, and they were forced to examine the lifestyles of most people who perished as a result of lung cancer, they found out that these lung cancer patients were cigarette smokers. Smoke was affected by secondary smoking as smoking was not restricted (Saad). Thus, even the nonsmokers would inhale the smokes from the cigarettes and the lungs of the smokers. The government was a concern the rate at which people were dying of cancer and other illnesses courtesy of cigarette smoking.
The transition period
After determining that the main cause of the complications that led to the deaths of many, the government was forced for come up with some regulations that would see the people are not fully exposed to the smoke from cigarettes. In reaction to the smoking habits, the government declared some places smoke-free areas. These smoke-free zones included all the enclosed public places. In these places, no one was supposed to be seen smoking. The government set up some smoking zones for the smokers, and the smokers were only allowed to go to those places to smoke and that helped reduce the number of secondary smokers (Breen). Of course, the direct smokers continued to have the effects of smoking as they were still in direct contact with the smoke. The period after the 1980s marked the time when health researchers and practitioners carried out series of experiments to determine the killer substance in the cigarettes (Comereski). Some of the cigarette companies also accused their competitors’ cigarettes of having harmful substances and that those were the cause of all the cancer cases in the country.
After series of experiments, the researchers found out that cigarettes contain some biological substances that are responsible for lung cancer, cancer of the larynx, coronary heart diseases among other complications.
From the year 2000 to date, a lot of efforts as to how to deal with smoking are in place. As opposed to the past, these days the films tend to portray the effects of smoking cigarettes. For instance, the people who are in the club and after smoking they end up fighting and most of the films portray such behaviors as bad behaviors. And the guys who are smokers are seen as bad role models for the next generation (Prince). Most of the movies that are acted in American tend to minimize the scenes that show cigarette smokers, and if the movie has to have the cigarette smokers, they must be used to condemn the smoking habit. Some of the movies render smoking as affecting the daily activities in an organization as most of the time the smokers are portrayed as always having the urge to smoke thus they end up sneaking from the offices to find some private places to smoke. Some of the movies are acted with the aim of discouraging the smoking behaviors and do away with the smoking culture as they always show the smokers experiencing hard life as well as missing most life opportunities (Saad).
The TV shows do not have smokers being aired as it was the case in the past; the programs are organized in such a way that a whole program may run to the end without any smoking habit being included in the process. Educational programs that are used to teach the public about the effects of cigarettes are organized and are broadcasted live to ensure that the public is kept on the safe side (Gately). It is different from the past when TV programs would encourage people to smoke to reduce stress and relax freely. Things have changed as no Media house can be seen organizing programs that are not helpful to the society as far as cigarette smoking is concerned.
Most of the ads in between the programs do not showcase any smoking habits, and if they have to be advertised, they must be those that are discouraging smoking habits (Prince). The government has organized Anti-smoking campaigns to ensure that those who had not started smoking keep off from the cigarettes as well as trying to save those who are already smoking to stop the habit (Burns).
The cigarettes companies are required by the law to indicate on their packages the health hazards of smoking so that those who are smoking have the knowledge that smoking is risky. The cigarettes companies are required to put conspicuous warnings on the packages to help scare away nonsmokers from trying (Comereski). Such warnings help reduce the number of smokers thus the government will not use most of its resources in trying to treat cigarette smoking complications.
The society through the government regulations has banned public smoking by putting restrictions on the smokers, stopping them from just smoking everywhere without minding the welfare of the others. Nobody is allowed to smoke in the public places, for instance, the restaurants, workplaces, hospitals and even in the planes. At times when a person is caught smoking in places, they are charged for breaching some laws (Burns). Even those smoking in the smoking have been left as smokers, but instead there are attempts to rehabilitate them so that the cases of smoking are reduced as possible. The smokers are ensured that they have the full knowledge of the effects of smoking so that they don’t blame anyone if they start experiencing the effects of smoking cigarettes (Mader).
Cigarette smoking has numerous health effects including and not limited to lung cancer, mouth cancer, cancer of the larynx. It is also linked to most of the miscarriage cases, damaged sperms and even low egg production in females. It affects the society in several ways starting from losing the youths who are the production efforts of a country. Its effects are very expensive to maintain for the maintenance of cancer consumes a lot of resources that would have been used in other production programs (Porter). Second-hand smoking is killing the nonsmokers just as it is killing the real smokers as the nonsmokers develop just the same complications that a smoker develops. It then requires that emphasis is put on ensuring that secondary smoking is minimized as possible.
The government should make it habit of ensuring that the cigarette companies discourages smoking in all ages (Mader). The films and TV programs should be timely such that the target group is reached with the message. The films should always discourage the smoking habits, and to achieve this there should be some documentaries about how the cigarette smokers suffer in most of their living.
There should be efforts to motivate those who have stopped the smoking habit. They are supposed to the told some of the benefits of becoming nonsmokers. The benefits should include having long life expectancy, escaping the risks of being victims of smoking related complications.
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Prince, Jr and Eldred, Long. The Rise and Fall of Tobacco in South Carolina. 2000. Print.
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