Passage Eighteen (Strictly Ban smoking)
If you smoke and you still don’t believe that there’s a definite link between smoking and bronchial troubles, heart disease and lung cancer, then you are certainly deceiving yourself. No one will accuse you of hypocrisy. Let us just say that you are suffering from a bad case of wishful thinking. This needn’t make you too uncomfortable because you are in good company. Whenever the subject of smoking and health is raised, the governments of most countries hear no evil, see no evil and smell no evil. Admittedly, a few governments have taken timid measures. In Britain for instance, cigarette advertising has been banned on television. The conscience of the nation is appeased, while the population continues to puff its way to smoky, cancerous death.
You don’t have to look very far to find out why the official reactions to medical findings have been so lukewarm. The answer is simply money. Tobacco is a wonderful commodity to tax. It’s almost like a tax on our daily bread. In tax revenue alone, the government of Britain collects enough from smokers to pay for its entire educational facilities. So while the authorities point out ever so discreetly that smoking may, conceivable, be harmful, it doesn’t do to shout too loudly about it.
This is surely the most short-sighted policy you could imagine. While money is eagerly collected in vast sums with one hand, it is paid out in increasingly vaster sums with the other. Enormous amounts are spent on cancer research and on efforts to cure people suffering from the disease. Countless valuable lives are lost. In the long run, there is no doubt that everybody would be much better-off if smoking were banned altogether.
Of course, we are not ready for such a drastic action. But if the governments of the world were honestly concerned about the welfare of their peoples, you’d think they’d conduct aggressive anti-smoking campaigns. Far from it! The tobacco industry is allowed to spend staggering sums on advertising. Its advertising is as insidious as it is dishonest. We are never shown pictures of real smokers coughing up their lungs early in the morning. That would never do. The advertisement always depict virile, clean-shaven young men. They suggest it is manly to smoke, even positively healthy! Smoking is associated with the great open-air life, with beautiful girls, true love and togetherness. What utter nonsense!
For a start, governments could begin by banning all cigarette and tobacco advertising and should then conduct anti-smoking advertising campaigns of their own. Smoking should be banned in all public places like theatres, cinemas and restaurants. Great efforts should be made to inform young people especially of the dire consequences of taking up the habit. A horrific warning – say, a picture of a death’s head – should be included in every packet of cigarettes that is sold. As individuals, we are certainly weak, but if governments acted honestly and courageously, they could protect us from ourselves.
1. Why do a few governments take timid measures toward smoking?
[A] because they are afraid of people.
[B] Because diseases cost a lot.
[C] Because they are afraid of the cutting down of their revenue.
[D] Because they are afraid of manufacturers.
2. The tone of this passage is
3. What does the sentence “because you are in good company” mean?
[A] you are backed by the government.
[B] You are not alone.
[C] You have good colleagues.
[D] Governments are blind to evils of smoking too.
4. What is the best title of this passage?
[A] World Governments should conduct serious campaigns against smoking.
[B] World governments take timid measures against smoking.
[C] smoking is the most important source of income to many countries.
[D] tobacco industry spends a large sum of money on medical research.
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