Argument for the ban on tobacco
Table of Contents
There is a debate that has been ongoing for a very long time. The debate is about whether tobacco and tobacco products should be done away with once and for all. There seems to be as many opposing it as there are those endorsing the product’s continued use. In this essay, I shall express and support my stand that tobacco should not only be banned, but its production stopped indefinitely. It is a fact that close to sixteen million people in the United States are affected by smoking-related illnesses, with half a million deaths yearly. This number should be alarming because very little is being done to change or remedy the situation. The amount spent on healthcare related to tobacco use is more than 70% of the total allocation on health. Therefore this issue should not be taken lightly.
Illness and Death
The most common effect of smoking and one that recently governments and industry heads have acknowledged is cancer (Smoking and Tobacco Use, 2017). A significant percentage of tobacco users end up being diagnosed with this killer disease. Some tobacco company employees as a result of being in contact with the product continually also succumb to this silent killer. When one is continuously exposed to the tobacco fumes, the lungs receive the gases instead of oxygen. These gases continually corrode the lungs until they can no longer withstand the abuse. The resultant effect is this cancer which is among the least likely from which to recover.
Other cancers that are common among those who take tobacco products are throat and mouth cancer. Eventually, the smoker dies, and the family grieves and suffers in his absence, yet it is an eventuality that could have been avoided in the first place. Below we shall look at some other common effects of tobacco use, analysis of its use as well as some arguments used in support of tobacco.
Smoking, especially if done for long may cause respiratory problems. Breathing may become labored and painful. Many regular smokers cannot perform strenuous activities like running or even walking without coughing heavily. That is because the smoke they inhale has created small holes in their lungs that make them choke and cough heavily when they breathe in. Most smokers also have asthma. It is not the primary cause of asthma, but tobacco can propel it to maturity.
Circulatory Problems and Heart Attacks
The circulatory system may be affected by smoking. The heartbeat of a smoker is likely to be irregular and strained due to blockage. The number of smokers who succumb to heart attacks are many. The heart attacks may be attributed to increased blood pressure because of regular exposure to smoking while clogged arteries cause the heart attacks as a result of soot which is brought about by smoking. Among the leading diseases worldwide is the coronary heart disease which is mostly attributed to smoking, specifically, the presence of carbon monoxide in the bloodstream.
When one is young, they will at some point be told to avoid smoking at all costs because it is dangerous enough to change a person’s behavior. If they manage to go up to eighteen years of age without smoking, there is a chance that they will never start. Tobacco contains nicotine, which is responsible for the stimulus that a smoker will feel once he/she has smoked. A typical statement among people in rehabilitation centers is that they could have avoided all their woes if they had not smoked the first cigarette. One leads to two usually and two to three until the person can no longer control themselves.
It is difficult to stop once you start using the product, and some will experience withdrawal symptoms if their supply is taken away. The dependence on tobacco to function has made tobacco companies rich and the consumers poor. Smokers have been known to rob others or steal so that they could get their fix. Recently, government legislation has made it mandatory for the companies to draw images of tobacco effect on smokers, e.g., cancer, on the packets of the cigarettes. However, what this legislation failed to tackle is the fact that most smokers are not in control of their addiction, and are in fact slaves to the drug. So it is impossible for them to take the messages and images seriously.
Passive/Second-Hand Smoker Effect
It is common for non-smokers to have smoker friends. It has been observed that smokers have no regard for those around them even if they know it is wrong to smoke in front of them. The designation of particular smoking zones does not seem to alert them to the fact that others do not enjoy their hobby. The result may be the non-smoker falling sick due to inhaling the smoke from their friend’s mouth or nose constantly. He or she may also start smoking as a result of being exposed to this vice.
Most smokers have no sense of where the waste product will go. As a result, they throw the cigarette butts everywhere regardless of where they are. That eventually leads to a dirty country which leads to reduced productivity because a clean place is motivating to all. When people are excited when the economy grows, but if they are demotivated, when the economy does not improve. When cigarette butts are thrown all over, they create a big mess which encourages pollution. If the product were banned, then this would not be a problem.
Financial Burden of smoking
It is not easy to sustain the habit of smoking. The money one spends per day on smoking can now bring additional money if appropriately invested. The finances you will save on automatically when tobacco is not there are medical finances. Life insurance and other related services will also be less stressful. Tobacco, since it is addictive, is like an animal that always needs to be fed. To feed it, you will require money. So if it happens that you do not have to feed it because it has been banned, you can use the money for other productive things.
Consequences of Tobacco use for the Youth
Research done by national health revealed the following information that has helped to emphasize the effect of tobacco use in the young, one in every four high school seniors is a smoker with one in ten being a user of smokeless tobacco, one in five is a cigar smoker. Students and youth of lower economic families are the frequent users of these drugs. Smoking among girls was low, but it now seems to be on the rise (Health, 2017). At least a third of girls and half of boys admit to using tobacco.
The media can be credited with influencing the consumption of these products since advertising makes them look attractive to these students. The tobacco companies also invested heavily in advertising at the time of the research, and it can be said to have worked since more people consumed tobacco. Lower performing students were found to be most likely to engage in the use of tobacco. Most of the tobacco use was also influenced by peer pressure. Students even try to imitate what they see in movies, and since most films show students engaging in such behavior (Health, 2017). The report also said that the majority of smokers among the youth would suffer tobacco-related illnesses by the time they are in their forties.
Immediate Benefits of Quitting
Tobacco users note the difference almost immediately they quit. Health, self-esteem, and finances are evident in a person who quits the drug. They experience a new freeness, and they are more confident and assured in the face of adversity. The respiratory and breathing system start working properly, probably because the carbon monoxide that was preventing blood flow in the body has been reduced. Things that had gone away such as a sense of smell come back, and the foul smell that comes from the mouth because of tobacco also is reduced.
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Common Arguments by Pro-tobacco Advocates
This argument is the most common among those who are arguing for the continuance of tobacco. It is no secret that tobacco companies are among the biggest contributors in any tax year (Warner, 2017). Therefore, they are arguably important for the stability of the country, albeit a country that they are gradually destroying. The number of addicts each calendar year keep increasing. The deaths approximate at close to half a million per year. However what the government focusses on is the taxes the company paid to them and not the losses they caused especially losses related to human resources. If we considered the productivity lost, then one realizes that the tobacco companies make us lose money. If this factor were taken into place and the government weighed the pros against the cons, then these companies would be closed down and a lot of human lives saved.
Creation of Employment
Tobacco companies create a lot of jobs in their factories and outlets. If they were closed down, a lot of people would be left jobless. That is an almost compelling fact except for the fact that for every a few thousands employed, a few million are addicted, sick or even dead. Therefore, they should not argue that these people would be left jobless because we are living in an age of innovation and the people would still find a way to make a living, which does not involve ruining other people’s livelihood. Every year the companies manage to cause more unemployment even through supplying their products to helpless people.
Freedom to do As They Will
Some critics have defended smokers saying food addicts have the right to choose either cholesterol-free or food with cholesterol, the same way a smoker has the right to decide to smoke or not. Many people argue that tobacco production should continue because all people have been granted the freedom to do as they please, which means that non-smokers have the right to avoid smoking. What they do not say is that they always smoke where there are nonsmokers. Therefore, by smoking where nonsmokers are, they rob them of the right to fresh air. Thus there is a need to decide if tobacco is worth it or not especially where there are children.
Concentration on Tasks
Cigarette smokers claim that smoking helps them concentrate on tasks on hand and even perform them better than the majority of non-smokers. It is also claimed to increase sex drive. According to claims, nicotine helps one relax and do their duties. The problem with this argument is that dependence is created on the said drugs such that when the drugs are missing, the person cannot function.
Turning to smokeless products is a recent trend that has seen variations in traditional methods of drug use. Some products are said to be smokeless. For instance, you don’t have to smoke it to consume it. Examples are things like chewable tobacco. However, research and facts have shown that many cancer-causing components are found in these products. The argument we are trying to make is not against smoking but tobacco as a whole. Smokeless tobacco alone has close to 30 cancer-causing components.
Many tobacco companies do not argue that they produce harmful products. All they have going for them is the law; it is on their side. Since it is legal, the company is dealt with understandably and not the way those who cause harm to citizens should be treated. The companies, however, should realize that they too are in the drug business and they are making money the expense of the consumers. Legality should not at any point replace morality, but this seems to be the case with most laws.
It is Unimportant
Most people look at this campaign as unimportant; some even say it is a publicity stunt done by lobbyists out to make quick money. The issue, however, is crucial since it involves many losses of lives and livelihood due to sickness. Addictions spring up in people as young as fifteen, who were exposed early to tobacco usage. The resultant fees such as rehabilitation and treatment could have been avoided if tobacco was banned.
The issue of whether to ban or not ban tobacco does not seem to be any closer to a conclusion. What is evident though is that this product is harmful. From the analysis done above, it is apparent that the effects of tobacco are likely to rob us of a generation if something is not done quickly. There needs to be a decisive action by the government, giving directions on what should be done about tobacco and its effects. If it is banned, a lot of vices will be healed. Very many related cancers will be avoided. Tobacco can be linked to close to five cancers and other illnesses such as asthma and stroke. Smoking is deliberately poisoning oneself. Most victims of this product at their deathbeds confess to wishing they had never tasted tobacco and its products.
It has been a trend globally that the government gives a leeway to companies that have created harm in society merely because they pay taxes. That trend needs to stop. Most companies will act in bad faith then hide it under corporate social responsibility, but it needs to stop, starting with tobacco companies.
- Health, N. (2017). Introduction, Summary, and Conclusions. [Online] Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK99239/ [Accessed 5 Dec. 2017].
- Warner, K. (2017). The economics of tobacco: myths and realities.
- Smoking and Tobacco Use. (2017). CDC – Smoking & Tobacco Use. [Online] Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/ [Accessed 5 Dec. 2017].