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Controlling Smoking In India: What Can We Learn From Others

smoking in India

Igniting Change: Smoke-Free Youth

Oct 20, 2023
Social Cause


Recently, the headline "Britain proposes ban on cigarettes for younger generations" was all over the news. This made us think what if a similar law was implemented in a country like India. Well, let's explore the concept a little deep.


Youth smoking remains a pressing issue in many countries, including India. The health, economic, and social consequences of smoking among young individuals necessitate innovative and effective approaches. To combat this challenge, it is crucial to examine global success stories to control the increasing rate of smoking in india.


The Global Perspective: What Can India Learn from Other Countries' Success in Youth Smoking Control?

It's a question worth pondering. As we stand on the precipice of a health crisis caused by youth smoking, exploring the experiences of other nations can provide valuable insights. Join us on this journey to discover if India should raise the smoking legal age in India annually, following the proposal similar to the UK's strategy to with the aim of eradicating smoking addiction.

smoking in India

Learning from Global Pioneers

Australia's Innovative Packaging

Australia has been a pioneer in anti-smoking measures, particularly in the domain of packaging. They introduced plain packaging for tobacco products, complemented by graphic health warnings. This innovative approach has significantly reduced the appeal of tobacco products to young people. By removing the aesthetic appeal and replacing it with stark, graphic warnings, Australia has achieved a considerable reduction in youth smoking rates.


Singapore's Stringent Laws

Singapore is renowned for its strict age verification laws when it comes to purchasing tobacco products. They have also imposed heavy penalties on retailers who sell to underage individuals. This approach ensures that young people find it exceedingly difficult to access tobacco products. It serves as a powerful deterrent and sends a clear message that breaking the law is not worth the consequences. We can surely take some ideas and implement similar government actions to reduce smoking in India.


Canada's Comprehensive Education

Canada has invested heavily in comprehensive smoking cessation programs that are easily accessible to young people. By providing counselling, support, and resources for those trying to quit, Canada has made significant progress in curbing youth smoking. Accessible cessation programs are essential in supporting young smokers in their journey to quit. Similar awareness campaigns & counselling sessions must be organised to control smoking in India among youth.


smoking in India

Finland Mixed Strategies

Finland has the lowest youth smoking rate in Europe, at 4.8%. Finland has implemented a number of successful tobacco control measures, including comprehensive smoke-free laws, high taxes on tobacco products, and bans on tobacco advertising and promotion. Finland has also invested heavily in tobacco prevention and cessation programs.


The UK's Bold Move

Government officials in the U.K., in their efforts to reduce youth smoking rates, are the latest to pitch a generational smoking ban, which would stop those who are 14 years old and younger now from ever buying cigarettes legally. If passed, the law would mean the legal smoking age would increase by one year every year until it applies to the whole population. Officials hope it will create the first "smoke-free generation".

If passed, the law would mean the legal smoking age would increase by one year every year until it applies to the whole population. Officials there hope it will create the first "smoke-free generation”.


smoking in India

The Debate in India

Current Scenario

As per present laws, smoking legal age in India in 18 years. But the country sees youth smoking is a concerning issue. Various initiatives have been undertaken, but the problem persists. It's time to reevaluate our strategies.


Is the UK Model Applicable?

Implementing a law similar to the UK's might be a game-changer for India. We delve into the possibilities and challenges. While it shows promise in curbing youth smoking, it also raises questions about the practicality and enforcement of such a law in India.

smoking in India

Challenges and Considerations for India

India faces unique challenges in addressing youth smoking, including a massive population and varying socio-economic conditions. Hence, adopting such a law comes with its own set of challenges. These challenges require tailor-made solutions to effectively combat the issue.

  • Cultural Diversity: India is an incredibly diverse nation with numerous cultural and regional differences. Any such law would need to account for these variations and be sensitive to cultural practices.


  • Logistical Challenges: Implementing and enforcing such smoking laws in India, especially in rural and remote areas, poses significant logistical challenges.


  • Economic Impact: The tobacco industry is a major contributor to India's economy. Any drastic change in policies could have economic repercussions.


  • Alternative Measures: While the UK's approach is innovative, it's important to consider other measures that might be more feasible in the Indian context. These may include updating of smoking laws in India, stricter enforcement of existing regulations, enhanced public awareness campaigns, and the expansion of smoking cessation programs.

smoking in India


Addressing youth smoking is a multi-faceted challenge that demands innovative and robust strategies. In the quest to control youth smoking, India has much to learn from the global success stories. From the UK's innovative approach to Australia's plain packaging, Singapore's strict laws, Canada's education programs, to Scandinavia's alternative, each example provides valuable insights. The road ahead for India may be challenging, but with determination and the right strategies, we can make a significant impact on reducing youth smoking and building a healthier future.


Particularly talking about UK's proposal to increase the legal smoking age progressively, it's a bold step, and the idea is worth exploring. However, its changing smoking legal age in India would require careful planning, stakeholder engagement, and cultural sensitivity. A more practical approach might involve a combination of stricter enforcement, public awareness campaigns, accessible smoking cessation programs, and, potentially, a phased approach to reducing tobacco consumption among the youth.


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