Let’s de-glamorize smoking

By From page A6 | January 14, 2014

You ran an editorial Wednesday about discouraging teenagers from smoking.
Some years ago, I read about a survey that some organization conducted in Sacramento, where they had minors attempt to buy cigarettes without ID, at convenience stores.
I do not remember the precise results, but a vast majority of the stores surveyed sold tobacco products to minors without hesitation. A slightly smaller percentage were prepared to sell individual cigarettes out of a pack.
This was just a survey and no charges were filed.
May I suggest that there should be serious consequences for these offenses, involving very stiff fines and the loss of a tobacco sales license. Sting operations should be routinely conducted.
I think this would be very helpful in curtailing teenage smoking start-ups. Yes, determined kids will still manage to obtain tobacco, but it would be a lot more difficult, except where tobacco companies are passing out free cigarettes in schools as they have done in the past. (They deny it, of course, but it happened.)

Anyone caught doing this should face lengthy jail time, in the non-smoking wing of the jail.

Ads for cigarettes in the past glamorized smoking. Ads against smoking should de-glamorize smoking. For example, show derelicts fighting over a stub found in a gutter. “Join the tobacco achievers” would be the slogan.
Gabe Lewin

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