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Help is needed more than fines

Over the weekend I learned that my 49 year old Aunt Susie is quitting smoking. That very same day I learned my 14 year old niece has started smoking.
My reaction to my aunt’s announcement was, “Great! Good for you!”
But then she went on to say how hard it is to quit, noting that she is down to about three cigarettes per day.
My reaction to learning of my niece’s action was one of shock, sadness and worry that she too will become addicted and find it so hard to quit.
They say it is one of the hardest habits to break as the nicotine is so addictive; even more so in recent years as the tobacco companies worked at refining the addictive properties of their product.
People have known for decades that smoking is bad for people, both those who do it and those around those who do it. There have been many campaigns to try and prevent people from starting and many to try and get them to quit.
For some that has worked but in the case of many young people, like my niece, it may not have. The latter campaigns rarely work as once you are hooked it is hard to get away from the addiction.
In the new year the local health authorities will begin policing workplaces in search of people smoking. While they will lay charges and fine businesses, they have said little about what they will do to help people quit.
There also needs to be a greater effort put into stopping minors from starting to smoke. Every day they can be seen stepping off school property at breaks to get their fix.
–Until then,