Petkantchin argues that tobacco is a dangerous substance because it kills many people across the globe (2). According to the World Health Organization (WHO), cigarettes and tobacco kill over six million people annually (Leicester and Levell 4). Incidentally, over 60,000 deaths are caused by passive (or secondhand smoke). Individuals whose die prematurely due to tobacco use affect the welfare of their children and family members. In 2010, Bhutan became the first country to illegalize the use of tobacco (Hopkins et al. 279). Some countries such as the United States have implemented harsh penalties to control the sale and use of tobacco products. For instance, tobacco should not be sold to children (Hopkins et al. 279). However, some people believe that cigarettes support the economy of many countries. These issues have led to numerous debates aimed at outlawing the sale of tobacco products. This discussion therefore gives concrete reasons to support the ban of cigarettes and tobacco products.
Reasons for Banning Tobacco Products and Cigarettes
There are various reasons that explain why tobacco products should be banned. To begin with, the number of premature deaths caused by these products cannot be underestimated (Leicester and Levell 9). As indicated earlier, over 500,000 citizens in the United States die every year because of the continued use of tobacco products (Leicester and Levell 9). Such deaths are caused by various diseases and conditions associated with tobacco use. This happens to be the case because “smoking is a risk factor for diseases such as high blood pressure, lung cancer, stroke, and heart attack” (Petkantchin 3). According to many healthcare professionals, more people will be dying in the future unless adequate measures are put in place.
The number of accidents associated with smoking has increased within the last five decades (Petkantchin 3). Leicester and Levell observed that many drivers are distracted whenever they are smoking (17). This undeniable fact shows clearly that cigarettes are dangerous for drivers. Similar studies conducted in the United Kingdom have indicated that over 50 percent of drivers who smoke have increased chances of causing accidents (Petkantchin 4). The decision to ban the use of cigarettes can play a significant role towards dealing with these challenges.
A study conducted in the United States indicated clearly that many forest fires were caused by cigarettes. According to the NFPA, smoking has been responsible for over 90,000 fires recorded in the United States every single year (Petkantchin 2). The agency indicates that “over 90 percent of wildfires in the nation are caused by smokers” (Seo et al. 348). Statistics have revealed that most of the domestic fires recorded in the country are caused by cigarettes. Such fires are responsible for over 1,000 deaths in the country every year. These facts show conclusively that smokers have increased chances of causing fires compared to non-smokers.
The most outstanding reason why the government should be on the frontline to criminalize the use of tobacco products is that of passive smokers. As mentioned earlier, nonsmokers have increased chances of developing health complications associated with tobacco products. It is undeniable that many innocent lives are lost daily because of other people’s actions (Seo et al. 349). Individuals who smoke affect the health outcomes of their neighbors and relatives (Hopkins et al. 280). At the same time, the government has done very little to support these members of the community. This fact should be used by the American government to illegalize various tobacco products.
The health of pregnant women dictates the outcomes of their unborn babies. Pregnant females who smoke threaten the health of their unborn children. The malpractice can result in unhealthy babies with reduced immunity. Such children tend to develop a wide range of health complications. Many health specialists advise pregnant women to avoid cigarettes because they have the potential to affect their children’s health. This health problem should therefore encourage more women to avoid cigarettes by all means. Similarly, stringent measures should be considered to ensure pregnant women do not have access to cigarettes (Leicester and Levell 4). Laws illegalizing the use of cigarettes will play a critical role towards dealing with this health concern.
The health implications of smoking have been analyzed by many scholars and health professionals. According to them, smoke is associated with numerous health issues or problems. Before dying, many people who use tobacco products wrestle with a wide range of health problems and complications for prolonged periods. For instance, smoking has been associated with tuberculosis and rheumatoid arthritis (Hopkins et al. 283). Tobacco use has been observed to affect the human immune system. More often than not, individuals who quit smoking continue to fight different health challenges for a very long time. Some of them incur numerous expenses and eventually die (Bakhturidze et al. 6). These health concerns should encourage more governments across the globe to consider the importance of banning such products. By so doing, more people in the society will lead better lives and record the best health outcomes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American government spends over 300 billion dollars annually in order to address various health issues associated with smoking (Bakhturidze et al. 6). This economic cost is expensive and makes it impossible for the government to focus on other health concerns affecting the population. The statistics also indicated that over 170 billion dollars is used to provide direct medical support to smokers (Leicester and Levell 13). This is the case because such smokers encounter a wide range of health problems. A similar amount is used by the government to prevent premature deaths and support the diverse needs of many passive smokers. Similarly, many states across the United States spend a lot of money to address the needs of many passive and direct smokers (Wilson et al. 5).
This discussion shows conclusively that tobacco products and cigarettes affect the lives of many citizens in the United States and across the globe. More deaths are recorded daily because of tobacco use. The malpractice affects the economies of many governments. The decision can play a positive role towards supporting the health outcomes of many citizens and preventing premature deaths (Bakhturidze et al. 11). The strategy will make it easier for the American government to focus on different health issues affecting its citizens.
Bakhturidze, George et al. “Attitudes Towards Smoking Restrictions and Tobacco Advertisement Bans in Georgia.” BMJ Open, vol. 3, no. 3, 2013, pp. 1-17.
The authors conducted a study to understand the attitudes regarding the idea of banning tobacco advertisements. The results of the study indicated that over 84 percent of the respondents supported such restrictions on tobacco advertisements. The article supports the illegalization of tobacco-related adverts.
Hopkins, David et al. “Smoke-free Policies to Reduce Tobacco Use: A Systematic Review.” American Journal of Preventive Medicine, vol. 38, no. 2, 2010, pp. 275-289.
After examining different studies, the authors observed that the use of smoke-free policies made it easier for communities to reduce the use of tobacco products. The strategy delivered positive results in different working environments and communities. The ideas presented in this article can be embraced to deal with the health issues associated with cigarettes and tobacco use.
Leicester, Andrew and Peter Levell. “Anti-Smoking Policies and Smoker Well-Being: Evidence from Britain.” IFS Working Paper, vol. 1, no. 1, 2013, pp. 1-36.
According to the article, antismoking campaigns can play a positive role towards supporting the needs of many smokers. Positive policy interventions can influence the behaviors of many smokers. Such policies can therefore be embraced to help more people quit smoking. Similar ideas can be used to support the needs of many smokers and eventually address the challenges associated with various tobacco products.
Petkantchin, Valentin. “What if Tobacco were Simply Prohibited.” IEM’s Economic Note, vol. 1, no. 1, 2012, pp. 1-4.
The author begins by acknowledge that many societies and governments have been using various strategies to ban the use of tobacco products. However, attempts to prohibit the use of various tobacco products have been associated with increased consumption of substandard cigarettes. Consequently, the issue has led to more health problems.
Seo, Dong-Chul et al. “The Effect of a Smoke-Free Campus Policy on College Students’ Smoking Behaviors and Attitudes.” Preventive Medicine, vol. 53, no. 1, 2011, pp. 347-352.
After conducting the study, the authors observed that most of the learners exposed to smoke-free learning environments portrayed positive behaviors. Majority of the respondents indicated that smoking was an unhealthy practice that affected many people. That being the case, attempts to implement smoke-free campuses policies can be relevant towards minimizing the level of tobacco use in learning institutions.
Wilson, Lisa et al. “Impact of Tobacco Control Interventions on Smoking Initiation, Cessation, and Prevalence: A Systematic Review.” Journal of Environmental and Public Health, vol. 1, no. 1, 2012, pp. 1-36.
Tobacco control (TC) policies have been on the rise. Such policies have been supported because they have the potential to minimize the use of different products. Such measures have reduced the health issues associated with cigarettes. New measures should be considered in order to control the use of tobacco. However, such initiatives have produced diverse results.