Around 15 years ago, the United Kingdom saw a rapid decline of smoking as a social norm activity. The United Kingdom introduced new laws banning smoking in public places between 2006 and 2007, with Scotland taking the lead. The House of Commons Health Committee recommended tougher restrictions than the Blair government had originally intended. It was made illegal to smoke in bars and restaurants, cafes, and other hospitality venues.
This ban definitely had the intended effect of reducing smoking. Since the ban was implemented, at least two million people quit smoking. The ban is widely accepted as a positive for the health of society and the environment. It is clear that smoking has had a profound impact on the social interactions of certain groups. The classic pairings of a pint and a cigarette, brandy and a cigar, or sitting in a pub with a pipe have all but disappeared. Smokers are forced to choose between forgoing their nicotine or standing outside to smoke. Many have over time chosen the former.
Cannabis culture shows no signs of slowing down
Cannabis is a rising trend that will continue transform society in countries across the globe. Cannabis Sativa has been used for its psychoactive effects for over 5,000 years, although some research suggests over 10 thousand years. It became almost synonymous in the 1960s and its associated counterculture. But we have been seeing widespread legalisation, both for medicinal use but more recently for recreational use as well. Canada, Mexico, and South Africa have all lifted prohibitions on recreational use. Several American states, including California, Colorado, and Washington, have done the same. Many more countries have legal medical marajuana or have decriminalized the drug. Even the countries that haven’t are often taking more relaxed approaches towards cannabis in recent years.
Will we soon see a world where cannabis is more popular than cigarettes?
So as cigarette sales continue to fall and other products rise in popularity, will the future become ever greener? There were approximately 11 million vapers in the world ten years ago. Today that number is closer to 50 million. The vaping market is a natural fit for cannabis: CBD liquids can be easily smoked in a vaporizer and are used to relieve anxiety and pain. Anyone who has invested in outdoor smoking facilities (the smoking ban saw an increase in sales of patio heaters) can welcome cannabis smokers.
As a result, associations of cannabis connoisseurs will be inevitable. Imagine a group of people smoking laughing at at someones story or discussing which phone brand is better. But its not tobacco they are smoking, but instead cannabis grown in some obscure corner of the planet in Afghanistan or Nigeria.
You already can find specialist cannabis shops that sell the best products from all over the globe, a variety of pipes and hookahs as well as high-quality rolling papers, dedicated smoking jackets and hats. It is easy to picture a cannabis lounge in London by the turn of the next decade.