By Amy Marshall
August 12, 2005
We will see the last of cigarettes in Australia by 2030, a futurist said yesterday.
Professor Sohail Inayatullah also suggested four different scenarios for the future of alcohol abuse.
He took this year’s Rural Victorian Alcohol and Drug Conference theme of Time for Change by the horns and challenged listeners to make a move.
He said if we don’t identify the future we wish for, we’ll end up with something we don’t want.
“Democracy isn’t just about voting for a councillor,” Professor Inayatullah said.
In terms of a solution to alcohol abuse, one of the possible future scenarios he identified was a `Nanny State’ whereby people would enter bars with `smart health cards’.
The cards would identify our genetic make-up so bartenders could decide whether to serve us.
Another option was similar to the gingko and ginseng-infused `smart foods’, and low-carb, low-fat options which have flooded our supermarket shelves.
“We would change the nature of alcohol and develop smart alcohol,” Professor Inayatullah said.
“The guy from Foster’s who heard that was really excited.”
The other two options were to return to a style of moral thinking where “the good person doesn’t drink”, or to continue what is happening now, where we swing between harm minimisation and `just say no’ policies.
Oxford House resource worker Ron Blake listened to Professor Inayatullah speak yesterday and said he would be able to apply his ideas to drug and alcohol rehabilitation.
“What he’s saying is not just about drug and alcohol, but we can apply it to putting people back in charge of their own recovery,” Mr Blake said.
“He opened up a way of looking at the future where he encouraged people to have a vision for what they really want.
“We seem to be constantly in crisis management instead of having a vision for the future and identifying the way towards it.”