Why Tobacco Should Be Illegal and Smoking Forbidden

Introduction

Smoking is a widely discussed issue for hundreds of years. Every individual has their reasons for adopting this bad habit that is difficult to abandon, as it rapidly develops into an addiction. Despite the number of scientific researches, which prove the danger of smoking, this industry is growing from year to year. Moreover, regardless of the attempts of governments to reduce the number and severity of this habit’s negative consequences by forbidding smoking in public places, the number of smokers does not decrease. Simultaneously, the tobacco industry invents new devices for smoking, trying to expose them as safe ones, which attract even people who have never tried it before. This essay will examine, in detail, the negative influences of smoking on smokers themselves, on other people, and nature. The opposite arguments, which support the necessity of allowing people to smoke, will be introduced, an explanation of this position presented, and a refutation provided. Summarization of points with respect to contradictory perspectives will be done to define why the legalization of tobacco can be argued clearly.

Negative Influences on Smokers

Smokers are individuals who deliberately choose to smoke. They are regularly exposed to the full spectrum of compounds contained in the smoke that they breathe. The consequences of tobacco on them are the most severe. The first set of diseases provoked by smoking are cardiovascular ones. According to Greenhalgh et al., “Mortality from cardiovascular disease was almost three times higher in current versus never smokers” (“Chapter 3”). It implies the presence of significant influence of smoking as a trigger of the diseases, which are coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, and peripheral artery disease. In addition, tobacco provokes the development of an abdominal aortic aneurysm and increases risks of sudden cardiac death, congestive heart failure, paroxysmal tachycardia, and atrial fibrillation (Greenhalgh et al., “Chapter 3”).

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In addition, the evidence, which reveals the danger of smoking, can be shown by comparing the mortality rates of smokers and non-smokers. According to the study conducted by Pirie et al., based on a survey among more than 1.3 million women, “for smokers and never-smokers, the probabilities of death before age 80 years are 53% and 22% (absolute difference 31%)” (p. 139). The mentioned dependency is built for women who had not had previous diseases, while combined with national death rates, the mortality of smokers is to try more time than never-smokers. The mentioned rates, which reveal the harm caused by smoking, are true for men.

It is possible to outline two major conclusions about smoking. According to Greenhalgh et al., “smoking harms nearly every organ of the body, causing many diseases and reducing the health of smokers in general” (“Chapter 3”). The list of diseases caused by it is extensive and includes cancers, aneurysms, leukemia, pneumonia, and others (Greenhalgh et al., “Chapter 3”). Therefore, smoking can be considered a negative addiction that severely harms smokers’ health.

Negative Influences on Others

Smokers do not only harm their health, but they also unintentionally make other people breathe the smoke from cigarettes, which also negatively influences persons named “passive smokers.” The effect of pollution with toxic chemicals, air, which is caused by burning tobacco, is considered as harm from “secondhand smoke.” According to “Secondhand smoke: Dangers,” “Sidestream smoke from the end of a cigarette is unfiltered. It has more harmful toxins than mainstream smoke that someone breathes in.” It implies that passive smokers are in greater danger than those who smoke when exposed to secondhand smoke. The consequences from this source of danger include but are not limited to cardiovascular diseases, such as strokes, high blood pressure, and heart attack, lung problems, such as asthma, and different types of cancer. Children exposed may experience coughing, sneezing, breathing problems, ear infection, asthma attacks, respiratory infections, damage to the eyes are teeth. Moreover, it significantly increases the risks of sudden infant death syndrome and even can cause difficulties with learning abilities and behavior.

Many smokers believe that they do not harm people around them during the smoking sessions if the time of exposure to the smoke is limited. However, Greenhalgh et al. state that “There is no level of exposure to secondhand smoke that is free of risk” (“Chapter 4”). It is also possible to claim that ventilation and air conditioning systems do not remove secondhand smoke completely, which only contributes to the severity of the issue. In addition, toxic compounds contained in the smoke, such as nicotine, are known for staying in places where the session of smoking was held for months. Therefore, secondhand smoke is a significant danger raised by smoking, which affects smokers themselves, and people around them, leading to various diseases and other negative consequences development.

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Negative Influences on Nature

Cigarette smoking is known for causing severe damage to the state of the environment through pollution. Manufacturing of tobacco-containing products requires the use of toxic substances. “13 Serious Effects of Cigarette Smoking on Environment and Human Health” claims about widely utilized substance “Aldicarb” that “It’s highly toxic to humans, plants and animals and can seep into waterways and intoxicate the soil for several years” (Section 3). Moreover, the mentioned secondhand smoke and industrial processing of cigarettes conceive releasing air pollutants in the air directly or through greenhouse gases produced in the process (“13 Serious Effects of Cigarette Smoking on Environment and Human Health”, Section 4).

Cigarettes, which were not recycled appropriately, are also dangerous for water systems, such as lakes, rivers, pollute groundwater and even oceans. Cigarette butts are a source of heavy metals, which pollutes water and may affect local organisms (“13 Serious Effects of Cigarette Smoking on Environment and Human Health,” Section 7). Simultaneously, filters can be ingested by fish, causing harm and, in the global projection, contributing to the reduction of their entire populations. Moreover, humans can be influenced by chemicals contained in the affected fish if they eat it.

Finally, smoking cigarettes causes a huge amount of litter that is complicated to be disposed of. According to “Tobacco and the environment,” “Cigarette filters are primarily made of plastic filters that don’t biodegrade.” It implies that they cannot be destructed in natural ways, and not being recycled, severely pollute the environment. Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) are event greater danger, as they contain metal, circuitry, single-use plastic cartridges, batteries, and toxic chemicals in e-liquids (“Tobacco and the environment”). Without proper guidance on how to dispose of used devices and associated products, e-cigarettes claimed by manufacturers to be safer for humans and the environment become a severe threat to nature. Therefore, cigarettes are a dangerous product, which negatively influences the biosphere in many ways at every stage of producing, consuming, and disposing of.

Questionable Benefits from Smoking

It is possible to outline several therapeutic benefits of smoking, mostly reflected as facilitation of severe diseases’ consequences. For instance, according to Greenhalgh et al., “Current smokers have a lower risk of developing ulcerative colitis, compared to non-smokers and ex-smokers” (“Chapter 3”). The other disorder tobacco can help with is Parkinson’s disease. There is scientifically proven evidence that an inverse dose-response relationship manifested in 61% reduced risk of this disorder development for smokers, compared to ex- and non-smokers (Greenhalgh et al., “Chapter 3”). In a study of dependency between smoking and lower risks of endometrial cancer and uterine fibroids, it was found that smokers are 29% less vulnerable to these diseases’ development. Pregnant women can also be benefited from smoking as smokers can experience a one-third reduction in preeclampsia, which is hypertension, risks. Some studies noted that thyroid and skin cancers are less likely to develop in smokers than non-smokers, but the results of these researches are not consistent.

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The other possible health “benefits” from smoking are effects on cognitive performance and facilitation of psychiatric symptoms. According to Greenhalgh et al., “There is evidence that nicotine may stimulate immediate and sustained improvements in working memory” (“Chapter 3”). Simultaneously, smoking can be helpful for managing some psychiatric conditions, as it is beneficial for mental health overall. However, it is possible to refute the usefulness of the mentioned above benefits. Long-term smoking is known for damaging many organism’s functions, which can provoke more severe changes, explained in previous paragraphs, compared to potential “benefits” (Greenhalgh et al., “Chapter 3”). Simultaneously, smoking that lasts for years can cause the opposite effect, and, for instance, to reduce the opportunities of working memory, neutralizing all the previous positive influences.

Summarization of Points and Restatement of Arguments

People disagree passionately that the manufacturing of tobacco products shall be forbidden, despite knowing the consequences. With respect to arguments, smokers provide to prove the existence of certain specific benefits from smoking, such as reducing of risks for some diseases to occur, persuasive reasons, what smoking is harmful, outweigh. It is possible to notice that this habit might be helpful in particular cases, in the event of short-term tobacco product consumption, and only for singular individuals. Simultaneously, the summarised negative impact, because of the industry, to the health of smokers and passive smokers, and to nature, is substantial. After comparing the arguments for forbidding the production of tobacco products with reasons for maintaining the same attitude toward the issue, the conclusion that the manufacturing of cigarettes shall be prohibited can be made.

Conclusion

Smoking is a bad habit, which has numerous negative consequences on smokers’ and other people’s health. It leads to various severe diseases, further development of which may not be prevented, and it significantly reduces the quality of life. Pollution of the environment at stages of producing, consuming, and disposing of cigarettes is substantial and causes long-term effects on nature and people themselves. Finally, “benefits” from smoking are arguable and mostly short-term ones, indicating a risk of eventually causing the opposite influence. Taking everything into consideration, the production of tobacco products and smoking must be forbidden, despite the highly-developed industry, to benefit all the people and the environment. Therefore, many people have got an addiction to the habit and disagree that the manufacturing of tobacco products shall be prohibited. However, their arguments are fragile, and this paper provides credible reasons that support the need to forbid to produce and smoke cigarettes.

References

Pirie, Kirstin, et al. “The 21st century hazards of smoking and benefits of stopping: a prospective study of one million women in the UK.” The Lancetm, vol. 381, no. 9861, 2013, pp. 133-141.

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Greenhalgh, et al. “Tobacco in Australia.” Chapter 3: The health effects of active smoking. Tobacco In Australia: Facts and Issues, 2021. Web.

Greenhalgh, et al. “Tobacco in Australia.” Chapter 4: The health effects of secondhand smoke. Tobacco in Australia: Facts and Issues, 2021. Web.

“Secondhand Smoke: Dangers.” Cleveland Clinic, 2020. Web.

“Tobacco and the Environment.” Truth Initiative, 2021. Web.

“13 Serious Effects of Cigarette Smoking on Environment and Human Health.” Conserve-Energy-Future. Web.

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