According to various reports, we are the time of year where people begin to renege upon or abandon their new year resolutions. Whether an individual has given up smoking or pledged to undertake an increased daily exercise program, the two week period between the end of January and middle of February oversees a watershed in their aspirations, as they their good intentions are challenged by the rigors of everyday existence. More often than not, resolutions that are formed in good spirits are broken do the detriment of a persons health or well being.

Worryingly, these health resolutions that are conceived in order to benefit an individual are being disregarded despite the wealth of information that surrounds them. The age of internet has afforded citizens access to a volume of information that is unprecedented, but despite this there is an inherent lack of motivation to abandon habits that continue to damage the health of society and its members. This raises questions about the World Wide Web, and whether it is ushering in an age of enlightenment or ignorance.

A Dilution of Relevant Information

The statistics surrounding health in the US. As the rate of US citizens suffering from being overweight or obese rises towards 70 percent, and a further 20 percent still choose to smoke on a daily basis, there are increasing concerns of an nutrition and health epidemic in the country. Yet these issues continue to remain prevalent despite the fact that their related information is not only readily available, but also advertised and promoted on various affiliated products.

As the US government continues to restrict the rights of smokers, there is increasing debate as to the ethics of such a policy and its place within a civilized and democratic society. This debate has intensified recently with legislation being implemented to ban smoking from the side walks and well populated streets of Great Neck Village in Long Island, as the local board of this affluent suburb upheld complaints and suggestions from its residents. This is considered to be the first instance of authority restricting smoking in public and completely open spaces.

This follows on from the decreasing tolerance shown by governments towards smoking, and specific bans on smoking in various enclosed public areas and establishments. This ethos, coupled with the escalating costs of buying cigarettes and tobacco, has been credited with reducing the number of smokers by over 6 percent of the population since 1990. While this has been accepted as beneficial to society and its members, there is some debate that the continual tightening of smoking regulations is actually an affront to personal choice and liberty.

A Personal Choice? The Arguments of Smokers

The argument of smokers in the US is based primarily on the fact that they live in a democratic society with the supposed freedom of choice. This applies to any act or decision that can be taken within the existing laws, and as smoking remains a legal practice then theoretically there should no serious restrictions on its practice. There is an unclear and conflicting message sent concerning smoking by government legislation’s, with smokers being subjected to numerous restrictions and price increases on the basis that smoking is detrimental to health, while cigarettes are still sold on every street in the USA without any serious stipulations.

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