World No Tobacco Day

Well, no tobacco

Well, no tobacco

Eighty seven people participated in the poll on unemployment. And 75 of them, a whopping 86%, said that unemployment is already a big problem. We need to do a lot more to generate gainful employment. And to make our youth feel more hopeful about their futures.

 I’ve been talking to many youth about their hopes and aspirations, their ambitions and careers, and their fears and insecurities. And about unemployment. I’ll start featuring some of their stories in future entries.

But today, 31 May 2009, is World No Tobacco Day. So I’m reminded of our earlier attempts to discourage tobacco consumption in our country. And of our government’s continuing commitment to ban the cultivation, manufacture and sale of tobacco and tobacco products as proposed in the Tobacco Control Act, which will be tabled for discussion in the third session of parliament.

This week’s poll asks you if a prohibition on the sale of tobacco products is a good idea.

 

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  1. Linda wangmo says:

    I am a smoker myself and I am sad to say that even though the Government banned the sale of Tobacco products, quite a long time back, I have no problem in getting my daily dose of stocks, even though at times i have to pay triple the MRP. Sometimes I just feel that if the government is more strict than i would have quit smoking long time back but i feel our law is just in the papers. My questions is why does our govenment find it difficult to enforce the law?
    Talking about unployment problem, there are more and more people with jobs and the government can easly employ these people as an inspector. The government do not need to pay these guys but give them at least 50% of the penalty collected from these offenders. This way I feel that in no time Bhutan would become 100% tobacco free.

  2. Instead of banning tobacco i think it would be better if the govt taxes it.

    As we all know that the black market of tobacco products is booming in the country it has just led to the increase in prices.

    Taxing tobacco would not only generate revenue for the govt but also the govt would not have any problems in disposing the products.which they seem to be having as per the recent article in kuensel.

    i don’t think any bill or law is going to stop tobacco from being black marketed

  3. Rather then banning the sale of tobacco products i feel the government should increase the tax. This way the money generated from the tax collection can be used to aggressively educate people on the harmful effects of tobacco.
    Moreover I feel the government should not allow people to smoke in public areas n if caught the offenders should be punished harshly.
    By banning the sale of tobacco products, only encourages black marketing.

    • Dear Sonam and Tan

      Taxing on tobacco products would definately increase revenue for the governemnt but it would not save people dying from tobacco related ilness. A smilple calculation, right now a packet of cigs cost almost 100% extra than the MRP. how much can the government tax 300 % 500 % people are still going to buy and than the idea of banning the tobacco products would be just to generate extra money for the the gopvernment. If the government taxex 1000s of persentage for tobaccos than the black market would flourish so my idea is Ban it and enforce the rules. One more thing Taxing would harm the lower income people. It would also be like Banning the import of toyota Pardos.

      • A ban and a tax on tobacco products have exactly the same impact — make the habit more expensive to sustain, and give greater incentive for smokers to quit. The difference is, what could be raised as government revenue goes to profit the black market criminals.

        Which would you choose — profit the government or criminals? I would vote for taxation. As you say rightly, however, the tax rates have to be set so that it won’t encourage black markets to flourish.

        Of course, banning or taxation alone can’t stop people smoking. Let’s face it, it’s not a habit. It’s an addiction to nicotine — no different from alcoholism or drug addition. Educational campaigns combined with medical and other support are needed.

        But, there is one thing that ought to be banned: Smoking in public places!

  4. Sudipto says:

    I think it’s a brilliant and bold idea to ban all forms of tobacco products’ manufacture and sale in Bhutan. If this is implemented Bhutan will perhaps become the only country in the world to do so.
    However, such a step will not cure the existing smokers but it will definitely stop youngsters from taking up smoking.
    The government should treat smokers as patients rather than like criminals.
    I used to smoke 40 cigarettes a day when I gave up smoking completely. I know what it takes to quit. It is not like quitting sweets or some other ordinary bad habits that can be done overnight. It is one of the toughest jobs in the world to quit smoking. My sincerest sympathy for smokers who want to quit but feel trapped by the bad habit. May God give you the courage to fight the nicotine monster.

  5. Lift the ban, let people smoke and die. Sooner or later, we all have to die, give us the freedom to choose how to kill ourselves.

    A smoker smokes fully aware that it’s going to kill him.
    This ban has been nothing but a headache to everyone except the smugglers.

  6. Make it mandatory for shops to ask for age proof if they think the customer is under age. Make this mandatory for alcohol too.

  7. TheOtherJT says:

    Our government has got a very good acts and laws but only in paper. Well i looked up in wiki{[url]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smoking_ban[/url]} and found some interesting things to know about the benefits, drawbacks, lawsuits as well and alternatives.

  8. the tobacco is offically banned but unofficially lifted…….what a contradiction……….
    in my opinion the govt. should be more responsible to ensure that no selling of tabacco takes place. when responsible authorities turn deaf ears towards complains or not vigilant enough to moniter what can we do……….. lets work together……….. in my opinion there should be serious inspection to keep away that ill practise…..

  9. tchoden says:

    I’ve never smoked or tried it. I know smoking is a bad but I’m not pro ban anything. Just because there is diabetes and accidents, we don’t go on banning sugar in the market and buying cars. But its pretty nice to say that Bhutan is the first country to ban smoking. It feels pretty special and strange at the same time.

    About unemployment, I’ve just realised that we don’t have much of social protection scheme for the unemployed, besides the vocation trainings. Do you think it is feasible to start an unemployment benefit for our unemployed (registered but with work)? Personally i think this may not be the right solution though it works for so many developed countries, and I think the only way is to train them for jobs. But then again i think it will be interesting to learn why there are so many without jobs when every organization complain about shortage of staff (even in our ministry)

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