I don’t think there is a person alive in this day in age that doesn’t know that smoking is dangerous. Even though we knew for decades that it was detrimental to our health, it had to take a tremendous amount of unnecessary deaths to finally get warning labels on cigarette packages. Today, tobacco advertising is illegal in Norway and has been for a while now. The packages themselves are also hidden away so you have to ask the cashier to get one for you, or get them out of a special kind of vending machine.
In 2007, the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), came out with a report that says processed meat and exceeding the upper limit of red meat increases the risk of cancer. The World Health Organization updated their information finally in 2015. Even though smoking kills more people than processed meat due to cancer, they are both still a class one carcinogen. However, the level of dangerous-ness is different. Between 34.000-84.000 cancer deaths each year is preventable by avoiding red/processed meat and 1.000.000 due to smoking. Compared to smoking it kind of seems like a waste of time to focus on. However, keep in mind that this is just cancer we’re talking about. There are also a lot of other things that eating meat can cause, like high blood pressure and obesity, which in turn disables and kills a lot of people.
Since tobacco and processed meat both cause cancer, it has been suggested that we should start marking processed meat packages with warning labels, the way we do with cigarettes. To me this makes total sense and I think it’s inevitable. While we’re at it, why not hide the meat away in a special container also and make it illegale to advertise for them? 🙂
In Norway we hand out free fruits during lunch in schools since it saves the government money to not have sick kids. In the US however, they have to fight for a cancer-free lunch option in the schools. In this video by Bite Size Vegan (see below) you can see 14 year old activist Lila Copeland, a long side with Pamela Andersson, fighting to change the schools lunch options to more healthy options for kids. Lets just hope change doesn’t take as long as it took warning people about the tobacco industry.