Smoking: Why it should be banned

Posted by Kelli K.

Shane, decided to share his story with the world to try and stop smoking. Shane was from wisconsin and never knew how bad smoking was for him until eventually it took his life.

At the age of 18, Shane had already began smoking cigarettes because everybody else in his family did. His life changed at the age of 34 when he began damaging his body from smoking. He noticed he was having trouble swallowing, the doctors to find out he has throat cancer. He had many surgeries after that, which also included doctors stretching his stomach to act like a esophagus. After the surgeries Shane no longer wanted to smoke anymore and quit for good. Bad news came again when doctors found cancer in his chest at the age of 44. This time Shane could not fight off the cancer, and died in August of 2016 for smoking related cancer.

Why should we ban Smoking?

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The cost: By banning smoking in the United States the government would save a lot of money because the government would not having to pay for the medical bills people have because of smoking. In “2012, the U.S. spent $9.17 billion on cigarette advertising in the United States.” Not only that but the “United States also had to pay about $170 billion on medical care for adults,” and “$156 billion in lost productivity due to premature death and exposure to secondhand smoke.” States have billions of dollars from tobacco taxes and tobacco industry legal settlements to prevent and control tobacco use. But states use a very small amount of these funds from tobacco, for tobacco control programs. According to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, “States will collect $25.8 billion from tobacco taxes and legal settlements but will only spend $468 million on prevention programs.” So not only is it the tobacco companies encouraging us to keep smoking it is also the states and the government.

Preventable death and disease: Smoking causes many deaths each year. According to the Centers for disease Control and Prevention or CDC, 6 million people worldwide die from tobacco each year and by 2030 there will be more than 8 million deaths due to smoking. If we were able to stop smoking people would live longer and live life more enjoyably. When somebody smokes it does not just affect one or two or even three organs in your body it affects them all.

The CDC also said that “16 million Americans are living with diseases caused by smoking.” “Tobacco increases the risk of death from many diseases for example cancer, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (lung cancer), and strokes.”

  • There are many different lung diseases that smoking causes,but all are very deadly. “Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among both men and women in the United States, and 90% of lung cancer deaths among men and approximately 80% of lung cancer deaths among women are due to smoking.” When using tobacco there is not good or bad amount to use it is all just bad. The tobacco atlas states that “Even for people who smoke 10 or less cigarettes per day, there life is shortened about 5 years. Also lung cancer is up to about 20 times higher than those who have never smoked before.” “Those who smoke fewer than 4 cigarettes a day are at up to 5 times more of a risk of lung cancer.”
  • Heart diseases is also a common risk of death from smokers. According to the smoking cessation Health Center, “roughly 1 of 5 deaths is from from heart disease and is related to smoking.” Also “People who smoke are two to four times more likely to get heart disease.” Smoking even effects and harms the most important blood vessels the ones going to your heart. Also the British Heart foundation revealed that, “carbon monoxide in tobacco smoke reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood.” So because there is less oxygen the heart has to pump harder to supply more oxygen to the blood. Smoking damages your arteries, smoking can damage lining in the arteries which leads to fatty material on the lining which then makes the artery smaller.
  • Lastly, the most common risk in smoking is having strokes. Strokes are diseases that affect blood vessels going to the brain Strokes can kill you instantly. However, the Quit Smoking Community said “if you are fortunate enough to survive having a stroke which is about 85 percent of the time you can be left with permanent damage after having a stroke.” “Permanent damage consists of forgetting friends and family , forgetting personal history, and learning how to walk again and learning how to talk again.”

Reduce secondhand smoke: Nathan, a Native American and member of the Oglala Sioux tribe was affected by second hand smoking. Nathan worked at a casino that allowed smoking for 11 years and he never smoked a cigarette. He develop allergies and serious infections that would cause asthma attacks, eventually causing permanent lung damage called bronchiectasis because he was exposed to secondhand smoke. “The casino was filled with smoke from so many people smoking,” he said. Nathans health was getting worse so he decided to leave his job because he was breathing in other people’s smoke on a daily basis. Before Nathan’s bad health he use to participate in tribal dances. After his health declined, a little bit of dancing exhausted him. On October 17, 2013 Nathan lung damage led to his death.

black-and-white, cigarette, fag
Image by Tookapic.com

Secondhand smoke is when smoke is inhaled by a non smoker from a smoker smoking tobacco near by. Smoking cigarettes can affect you even if you do not smoke. According to the American Lung Association “Secondhand smoke is a serious health hazard causing more than 41,000 deaths per year.” Secondhand smoking is even more harmful to children and infants. “In children, Secondhand smoking causes ear infections, frequent and severe asthma attacks, respiratory symptoms like coughing, sneezing, and shortness of breath, respiratory infections , and a greater risk for sudden infant death syndrome.” The American Lung Association stated that “Secondhand smoke is responsible for between 150,000 and 300,000 lower respiratory tract infections in infants and children under 18 months of age, resulting in between 7,500 and 15,000 hospitalizations each year. It also causes 430 infant death syndromes in the U.S. annually.”

 

Why is banning smoking such a big deal? 

Smoking is bad for the people who smoke and the people around the ones who smoke. If you smoke there is no good or bad amount to use, no matter what it is harming you in a bad way. Smoking already causes so many deaths and diseases to both smokers and nonsmokers. If the United States were to ban smoking there would be a dramatic decrease in deaths, cancers, and diseases. There would also be more money in the United States for good use, instead of spending the money toward people in hospitals because of tobacco. Additionally, if smoking were banned now, the generations to come would not have to worry about the problem of tobacco addiction because they would not be able to buy them.

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4 thoughts on “Smoking: Why it should be banned

  1. I do believe cigarettes are terrible for your health, over all tobacco product are an issue here in the States. But if we were to ban them it would cost a large amount to enforce the law, let alone a total ban. Also what would the recovering addicts do?

  2. And what of individual liberty? Our nation is founded on the freedom to do as one chooses, even if that freedom gives others warrant to engage in self-destructive activities. And we don’t just respect that right– we cherish it.

  3. Also, banning cigarettes, as I mentioned above, would cost A LOT of money and leave less funding for the fighting of actual crime that matters, and other important public services like education and whatnot.

  4. How to make everything worse and nothing better: start another drug war.

    First off, the claim that banning cigarettes would save money is ridiculous. The drug war that we already have has cost us over one trillion dollars, and only 22 million americans use those. Cigarettes, on the other hand, are used by around 36.5 million americans. It would cost A LOT of money to try to eradicate cigarettes. Plus, since there has pretty much never been a ban on anything that has actually prevented its use, medical costs would probably remain around just as high. And cost from lost productivity? Instead of being dead, cigarette users would just languish in jail, which directly costs the state/federal government money, and then have a hard time doing things like finding work when they get out, leading to more lost productivity.

    “So not only is it the tobacco companies encouraging us to keep smoking it is also the states and the government.”

    No. Just because the government doesn’t spend every cent on telling people not to smoke does not mean that they are somehow encouraging them to smoke.

    Also, people shouldn’t be stopped from making bad choices. Every human being has a right to their own body. What they choose to put in it is not the government’s business.

    Banning cigarettes is an idealistic fantasy that ignores actual reality. You can’t eliminate vice. It won’t work, and it never has. It didn’t work during prohibition, and it doesn’t work now with the drug war.

    http://www.drugpolicy.org/wasted-tax-dollars

    https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/adult_data/cig_smoking/

    http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/08/study-22-million-americans-use-illegal-drugs-3/

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