Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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Big Tobacco The tobacco industry pushes a product that has been proven to take the lives of almost 431,000 Americans every year. Is this something that should be allowed in our nation? Is it lawful for a company to knowingly propagate a product that has been proven to kill? Is this murder, or is it the choice of the consumer? Tobacco kills, this has been proven time and again by study after study. It kills in many awful ways, and is incurable. Tobacco is also addictive. This has also been proven by several tests. Many people might say that for this very reason the tobacco industry is to blame for the deaths of so many people, their consumers. Many people, including Big Tobacco, would argue that cigarette smoking is the choice of the consumer, not the product of an addiction, therefore rendering the industry blameless. The government is still struggling to find a way to handle this issue.

The government is torn because tobacco is a large source of income for the government, but they know that something needs to be done about this epidemic. The government is unsure of what to do with this situation. If they blame the tobacco industry and shut it down, they lose a considerable source of income, however, if they blame the consumer, they will be up to their neck in litigation from anti-smoking advocates such as the American Lung Association. The government does their best to follow the voice of the people, when it is possible.

The voice of the American people seems to generally fall on the side of big tobacco. Even though the anti-tobacco movement is very strong, Americans tend to mostly support the tobacco industry. A Gallup poll taken in November of last year shows that over sixty percent...