The Truth About Ciggarettes

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorCollege, Undergraduate February 2008

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The Truth About Cigarettes Did you know that one hundred years ago cigarettes were illegal in fourteen different states? Back then the supreme came to a wise conclusion about cigarettes, "They possess no virtue, but are inherently bad, and bad only". Since then, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding cigarettes. An addictive product responsible for: lung diseases such as asthma and emphysema; many different types of cancer; premature wrinkles; yellow teeth; and cigarettes are even linked with SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome). According to Readers Digest, "They are the only legal product, that when used as directed, cause death." In light of this information, cigarettes should be illegal in all fifty states.

Do you think that smoking only hurts the person doing the smoking? If you do, you're wrong. Cigarettes produce smoke known as environmental tobacco smoke or ETS. ETS is responsible for 35,000 to 45,000 deaths from heart disease of non-smokers.

An estimated 150,000 to 300,000 babies less than 18 months old suffer from respiratory tract infections as direct result of ETS. Environmental tobacco smoke causes problems because it contains more than 19 carcinogens. Carcinogens are agents that are known to cause cancer. Most smokers don't even realize that second hand smoke (ETS) is so damaging to others. They think that they're only hurting themselves, in every four smokers will die prematurely, and in their early death they lose about 25 years off their life.

In the 1920's alcohol was outlawed in an unsuccessful movement known as prohibition, and drinking became legal again in 1933. Many people think that when cigarettes are outlawed it will be as unsuccessful as the prohibition of alcohol and eventually they will become legal again. Smoking does not compare to drinking. The reason being, it's possible to drink in moderation. However, almost every person who smokes is classified as an addict. Cigarettes trigger the same type of addiction as heroin and cocaine. If all people in the U.S. were well educated and had respect for life they wouldn't smoke. In spite of this cigarettes are addicting so it's extremely difficult for smokers to quit. Most smokers, seventy percent, say that they began smoking regularly before the age of eighteen. A time in most peoples lives when they are more likely to make uninformed decisions based on advertising, peer pressure, and curiosity.

Millions of people in the United States are smokers. A more precise number is estimated at fifty million, and each year 2 million people quit smoking. The tobacco industry employs a vast number of workers and earns billions of dollars every year in profits from cigarettes. Although when cigarettes are illegal many people will be out of a job, it is still necessary to outlaw them. Every year the U.S. spends 100 billion dollars on health care costs due to smoking related illnesses. Women die more frequently from lung cancer than breast cancer. Tobacco companies used to say that cigarettes were not harmful or addictive. They now claim that, "there is no such thing as a safe cigarette." They have this new view because they don't want to be responsible for the lawsuits of people who have cancer due to smoking. If they don't want to be responsible for their product then they should just stop selling it.

To summarize, smoking is the preventable cause of many different diseases and afflictions. Should smoking remain legal because there are a lot of tobacco farmers, there are millions of smokers, or because smoking is a right? In out country one in every five deaths is a direct cause of smoking. A third of all high school students have had a cigarette in the past thirty days, and twenty percent of all adults smoke every day. Smokers should not have the right to harm others with second hand smoke, or to cost this country billions of dollars in health care costs plus priceless human lives. Outlawing cigarettes could be successful and the whole country would experience a health benefit.

The only logical lifesaving solution is that cigarettes be illegal in all fifty states.