The production and sale of cigarettes not only has a negative impact on human health, it can even cause death. The subject of smoking often sparks a lot of controversy. Some people, mostly non-smokers, are supportive of smoking bans, while others feel that everyone should have the right to buy and smoke cigarettes.
Nonetheless, if we look at this issue rationally and logically, it is clear that because of the impact on our health, the production and sale of cigarettes should be made illegal. One of the most common arguments against smoking bans is that the tobacco industry contributes a large amount of revenue to the United States. Many people feel that our economy will suffer without the profits made off taxes from tobacco companies, and the sale of their products to consumers.
According to reports from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2012, 25.3 billion was collected from tobacco taxes and sales. More than 293 billion cigarettes were purchased in the U.S. during 2012 alone. At first glance it seems like a huge amount of money that the country can lose if the government prohibits the production and sale of cigarettes, but this is not true. The U.S. will lose much more than they profit if cigarettes remain available to the public. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that the U.S. spends billions of dollars each year because of tobacco use.
To be precise, 193 billion is spent each year. This includes 97 billion in lost productivity, and 96 billion in health care expenditures. Another argument against smoking bans is that they go against freedom of choice. Society tends to accept people who do things that hurt themselves, as long as it doesn’t hurt others in the process. Smokers may feel that their smoking habits don’t affect those around them, but the truth is that it does. According to eHow Health contributor, Auselio Locsin, smoking fills the air with harmful pollutants that cause unpleasant smells and discoloration in clothing.
Along with the unpleasant odor that clings to anyone exposed to the smoke, there are also health risks. In an article by Amanda Rumble, eHow Health contributor, she states that passive smoking, or secondhand smoke exposure is responsible for many cases of asthma in children and adults. The primary argument for smoking bans is the effects of smoking on others. Smoking is hazardous to other people’s long-term health.
As stated earlier, smoking does not just affect the smoker, but those around them as well. According to the U.S. Surgeon General, breathing other people’s smoke, known as secondhand smoke, can shorten a person’s lifespan. Secondhand smoke also causes cancers and respiratory diseases in both children and adults. In fact, secondhand smoke often contains more cancer causing and toxic chemicals than those found in smoke that the smoker inhales himself.
The New Jersey Department of Health Services states that secondhand smoke is responsible for 53,000 deaths of non-smokers each year, the third leading cause of preventable death. Secondhand smoke also contributes to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, and statistics show that infants who are exposed to smoke are twice as likely to die from SIDS. Another reason the production and sale of cigarettes should be made illegal, is because they are highly addictive due to the nicotine found in them. According to the Greater Dallas Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, people would not smoke tobacco if it wasn’t for nicotine.
This clear liquid, which is found in tobacco, acts on the brain and alters moods, appetites, and alertness. Nicotine is highly addictive, and once smokers get a taste of it, they will soon always have a need to smoke it. Because nicotine is so addictive, it is very difficult to quit smoking, and quitting can cause unpleasant symptoms of withdrawal. As smokers continue to smoke over time and consume nicotine, they will experience long-term effects including cancer of the mouth, esophagus, lungs, kidneys, bladder, and larynx.
According to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention, another dangerous side effect of nicotine consumption is loss of life. In the late 1990s, the CDC estimated that female smokers lost 14.5 years of their lives, and males lost 13.2 years as a result of smoking. It is clear that smoking is a dangerous habit that affects people in many different ways. If we want to help eliminate unnecessary deaths and illnesses, it is important to take steps to rid our country of tobacco products. Making the production and sale of cigarettes illegal will be beneficial to the overall health of our country in the long run.