I have had the same question in my mind as well. In India commercials that advertises smoking products or any other tobacco products is actually banned. I initially used to wonder why they will have to anyway sell it to the people in spite of knowing that it is bad for health. The same happens with Liquor as well. We even used to say this in a funny way that in Tamilnadu, Liquor is a business run by government and education sector is run by private bodies. Even though the government knows that it is harmful to health, they still continue to sell it and in the case of smoking, we don't really have commercials but indirectly there are advertisements everywhere that promotes smoking.
People need a hang over
There are several reasons why Tobacco is still a business for many people and even starting from small shops to bigger shows are highly dependent on tobacco as their business. When there are good things in a community, there will also be bad things available in the community. Good people will usually pick good things and do it and bad people will be highly curious to explore bad things. We can be quite happy that people in our locality are not directly exposed to other drugs that creates extreme hang over. More than the hook up part many people here smoke just for the sake of show off. That is purely because of the pollution that has happened from the movies. The movies have depicted in such a way that a great hero or Villan in the move will be terrific only when they smoke a cigarette.
When the government is asked about liquor business, they say that it is one of the high income source for the government. Every individual who is working in a hard job that involves lots of physical works will need a hang over to forget their body pain. Government says that, it is the reason why they have made drinking legal in the state. Another reason given by the government is that if they don't provide the right drinks to the people, they will end up preparing it by themselves and spoil their health. And that is why they are providing it as a service for cheaper prizes. When people are drinking they are obviously fond of smoking as well. So, smoking is a habit that buddies along with drinking habit for some people.
Government just cannot ban tobacco
We are thinking it in a good for people perspective but a major source of income for the government is through liquor business and tobacco business. Though the government is not directly involved in tobacco business, they get a great tax from all these tobacco products that several companies sell. Smokers are least bothered about the amount they pay to buy a cigarette. The maximum that a government can do is to ban smoking in public zones and make them smoke in private zones. Some government is actually fond of increasing the sales of these tobacco products to get some additional income. That is the reason why they show lots of advertisements and commercials. There are some movie theaters where there is an advertisement shown to showcase the harmful effects of smoking. That itself is something that people choose to ignore.
Considering the income that government get from tobacco and liquor business, they are least bothered about banning selling of tobacco in the state. I don't think there are any places in India where tobacco is banned. Another reason why this is not being banned is because when it is not available in the market for purchase, people will start growing their own weed plants in their house and start creating things that will hook them up. It will be not very easy to control for the government. And that is the reason why they have legalized tobacco product sales in the market with some regulations imposed.
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There is very little advertising compared to 10 or 15 years ago. I rarely see advertising today as most of the countries have laws against it.
Tobacco is a huge business that generates billions for the governments every year. When I left the industry around 75% of the price you paid on a packet of cigarettes was taxes. When you realize how much money is generated then you will understand. it is one of the biggest revenue streams for governments around the world. Being honest the governments don't want to see that stop as they will have to find revenue elsewhere.
The big tobacco companies are dwarfed by the Chinese Tobacco Company. When I left the industry 15 years ago the major players in the West were trying to claim market share in the Chinese market. China smokes double what the rest of the world sells each year. Allowing advertising for the newer brands to emerge would be hugely beneficial.
The main advertising was at the point of purchase which has now been banned. I have noticed very little advertising lately and even the pack ends have been removed.. This was another form of advertising in the display cabinet. I have no idea what country you are living in, but it will surely change very soon. The rest of the world has moved on and 99 percent of advertising has gone.
It won't make much difference though as smoking is still cool amongst the younger generation. Making it less visible hasn't really worked.
I always get astonished or surprised whenever I come across different advert that has to do with some banned drugs and cigarettes despite the fact they government are still on the claim that they've banned them. It is boldly written on the cigarettes pack that "smokers are liable to die young" and yet we still have such dangerous things imported into our country. The worst part of this is that the media are also encouraging some habit of immorality such as the smoking of cigarettes and consumption of drugs either in music videos or movies as this act enables our young ones intend to imitate the celebrities with the hope that they are enjoying.
I think the main reason we have such advertisement occurring and the rampant consumption of such illegal drugs is mostly caused by corruption of some of the government bodies. The company or dealers producing such illegal drugs are definitely paying huge amounts of money to some government bodies as a means of bribing. How would such drugs be smuggled in the country without some government officials knowing about it?
Also just have you stated that "smoking is a bad habit". Smoking is really bad for the health has it has led to the health damages of some people such as kidney problems, lung damage, cancer, mental problem, etc. The fact is that one may get very addicted to smoking as this will make the smoker uncomfortable if the smoker never smokes for some period of time. This also applies to other illicit drugs we know about. I just hope the parties involved can do away with such bad habit and I hope the government and some officials involved will avoid their corrupt attitude when it comes to this type of situation.
Thanks for reading and I hope this helps.
Because the tabacco industry is a huge business, there's a lot of money in it and a lot of influential people are involved. They say people know the risks as each pack of cigarettes have a text warning and a photo letting people know how dangerous smoking is and they say it's the consumers responsibility.
Tabacco advertisements are regulated, you don't see them at television any more, but you can see banners at sport events, which is odd.
Advertisements are not the problem, advertisements are not to blame for ruining the society, people are! People who smoke are to blame, no one else. No one is making them to smoke, they do it out of their free will. Some people have no money to eat or to feed their family and yet they are smoking.
Tobacco companies also pay taxes to government and they have to sell their products, thus advertising their products is one of the ways they get the public aware of their products. Smoking may be dangerous to health and it's even written in most of the tobacco products that smoking is dangerous, but men will still choose to smoke.
Since there are people willing to patronize such products, the tobacco companies need to advertise their products so that such people that love it would patronize them. It's strictly business to the tobacco companies. It's the people buying such products that they know is dangerous to their health that should be held responsible for their actions, not the tobacco companies
Because smoking is essentially a choice (at least most smokers do so out of choice).
That said, there's very little the government can do. Banning advertisement is one thing, criminalizing it is another.
Plus, criminalising smoking doesn't solve anything. Take the war on drugs as an example.
Tobacco industry involves billion of dollar investment. Unfortunately every things on this world run on business. Print & electronic media collects revenue from advertisement. No advertisement means from tobacco companies means low profit. Every one loves to get maximize profit for this purpose he doesn't see what is right or wrong. So he get easily influence by tobacco company. As a result we have a lot of cigarette brands advertisement on print and electronic media.
Smoking is a bad habit but we have advertisements on them because smoking is a choice and the tobacco companies make a huge amount of money from selling tobacco all around the world.
Tobacco companies also pay taxes so the advertisements are a way of publicizing their products to a wide range of people. Since 'Smokers are liable to foe young' is written on the pack of cigarettes and even on the advertisements, then it is now people's choice to decide whether to smoke or not.
Smoking is a bad habit..I can agree on that. But it is the free will and decision of those people to smoke. Everybody should know what smoking can do to human health. If they still decide to do so...please be my guest...