This morning Kingston University students smoking outside Penrhyn Road campus were asked on their thoughts on the government’s recent efforts aimed to put smokers off.
Earlier this month, due to a new regulation, tobacco companies have introduced new dull, plain, cigarette packaging which displays graphic images of various diseases caused by smoking.
“The new packages are really unappealing, but as someone who has been smoking for 5 years this will not suddenly make me not buy cigarettes,” Simona Balogh, 21 stated “It is a smart idea for those who are just starting, but for people like me to quit, I think that will be very difficult.”
It is evident that there is a big number of students who smoke, the purpose of the new packaging is to discourage young people from smoking, as the packages now contain health warning messages, gruesome images and a link to the NHS website for help on quitting smoking.
Most students were not affected by the change, Mirella Dimirtriadou, 20 said: “I think the government is really trying to get people to stop smoking, but I am more likely not to buy a pack of cigarettes if I can’t afford it than if it has ugly images on it.”
“Honestly the first time I bought the Marlboro pack after the packages changed I was grossed out, almost every time I buy a pack I see they have a different picture, and the huge smoking kills messages, of course they subconsciously trigger something in me so I guess they are effective,” stated David Parry, 19 as he was smoking.
It has been almost a decade since smoking in closed public places has been banned in the UK.
Malak Tawfik, 19 said: “I can’t imagine how it was like for people to smoke almost anywhere they wanted, of course for smokers at the time the ban was a big adjustment, but for our generation that’s the norm.”
The current trend of Vaping has effectively declined the number of smokers in the country, as some people replaced their cigarette with what is known as an e-cigarette.
Hussein Gharib, 20 said: “as an athlete I needed to stop smoking desperately, I have been vaping for about a year now, I started with some nicotine but after a month of decreasing the quantity I didn’t need it and now it is a habit that wont ruin my health.”
In the next month there will be a new law banning the sale of packs of 10 cigarettes, and in 2020 menthol cigarettes will no longer be produced or sold in the UK entirely.
It is apparent that the government is trying to raise awareness on the dangers of smoking, constantly making changes and new laws, determined to save lives and decrease tobacco sales over the years.