Tobacco Advertising And Its Effect On The Government Of India

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Tobacco Advertising in India To Ban or Not to Ban? Government is defined as “the group of people who control and make decisions for a country, state, etc.,” (Merriam-Webster, n.d.). The extent to which the government of a country should be involved in and control its citizen’s lives has been a controversial topic for many years. This is the main argument seen in the issue over banning the advertisement of tobacco products in various countries. The Government of India (GOI) considered the ban on tobacco advertising in 2001 (Ban on Tobacco Ads by the Government of India, 2001). What were the arguments for this ban and what were the arguments against it? The supporters of the ban had multiple different arguments to solidify its necessity. One of the main arguments for the ban was that the advertisements of tobacco products targeted children and minors. A great example of this can be seen in Camel cigarettes’ advertising techniques from the 1990’s where their mascot, Joe Camel, was depicted as a colorful and vibrant animated camel with a cigarette in his mouth. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company, the marketing company for Camel cigarettes, disputed this claim and said Joe Camel was an attempt to depict Camel as a contemporary tobacco company, rather than an old, outdated one (Elliott, 1997). Some of the more obvious arguments supporting the ban claimed that it would decrease consumption of tobacco products and help to curtail the rising tobacco related death toll. The World Health Organization (WHO) approximates nearly six million deaths each year are caused by illnesses from direct tobacco consumption or secondhand smoke. The WHO also estimates that a comprehensive ban on all tobacco advertising could lead to an average seven percent decl... ... middle of paper ... ...nstead of saying advertising can be done on this media outlet, but not that one; these colors/ideas can be used, but not those; it is much easier to simply ban tobacco advertisements altogether. I particularly like the regulations that Australia has imposed on tobacco packaging. In Australia, it is required that tobacco products be in plain packaging with seventy-five percent of the front and ninety percent of the back being covered in health warnings (Introduction of Tobacco Plain Packaging in Australia, 2016). Since implementing the packaging regulations, Australia has seen an almost twelve percent decrease in smoking prevalence (Tobacco Control Key Facts and Figures, 2016). I believe it is not enough for a government to simply ban tobacco advertisements, the government should make light of how truly ugly and detrimental tobacco use can be on one’s health.

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