Cigarettes and the Negative Impact They Impose on Our Society

Topics: Smoking, Passive smoking, Tobacco smoking Pages: 7 (2460 words) Published: April 25, 2013
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Cigarettes and the negative impact they impose on our society|

In America, we have a problem that is harming our nation. Our citizens are allowed to poison their bodies on a daily basis. The problem to be addressed is the sale and distribution of cigarettes. The production and sale of cigarettes should be made illegal. This problem is one that we as Americans should not have the right to partake in. Our government does not allow the production and sale of other drugs such as cocaine, heroin, or even less deadly drugs like marijuana. Cigarettes are packaged with a clear warning such as SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: Smoking Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema, and May Complicate Pregnancy, SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: Smoking By Pregnant Women May Result in Fetal Injury, Premature Birth, And Low Birth Weight, and SURGEON GENERAL'S WARNING: Cigarette Smoke Contains Carbon Monoxide. Although in general, people have the right to do as they wish, this right can be taken away if it infringes on the rights of others. There are many ways that others end up paying for the simple act of smoking. One way that nonsmokers can be harmed is by the second hand smoke from cigarettes. The children of smokers are more likely to contract a respiratory infection, and they have a slightly smaller increase in lung growth as they mature (From the First to the Last Ash). Secondly, the burden of healthcare for those who were careless enough to smoke is placed on the tax payers. Another reason that cigarette smoke is hazardous is because it pollutes the environment. These scenarios violate the free will of citizens, and they could be fixed simply by banning the sale of cigarettes.

There are many irrefutable facts that support the stance of illegalizing the production, sale, and use of cigarettes. The EPA labels cigarettes as a Group A carcinogen (From the First to the Last Ash). Also grouped with cigarettes are arsenic, a deadly poison, and asbestos, a material used to insulate pipes that has been proven to cause cancer (ibid). The CDC analyzed the leading causes of death in America. The results show that the top two, heart disease and cancer, can be a consequence of smoking cigarettes for a prolonged period of time (CDC). Smoking has also been shown to cause memory loss. A study conducted in England showed that short-term memory loss is affected by smoking. In this study a set of people smoked while one didn’t and were then tested on their short term memory. On average non-smokers scored higher on their short-term memory exam. ( Wonnacott, S., M. A. H. Russell, and Ian P. Stolerman) A substance that is literally poisonous to a person’s health should never be legal. The U.S. government is allowing people to substantially shorten their own lives. As previously stated, secondhand smoke generates many problems for nonsmokers, including the children of people who smoke. These children have no choice but to be exposed to the harmful chemicals in the cigarettes that their parents smoke. As Plato said in The Republic, “He who commits injustice is ever made more wretched than he who suffers it.” The parents in this situation are subjecting their innocent children to unjust practices. No child should have to endure the physical effects of cigarettes. Every child has a right to a healthy upbringing. Secondhand smoke also presents a problem to the general population. 79.4% of the country's population is protected by local and state laws that prohibit smoking (Ossad). Thirty-five states have enacted laws that require 100% smoke-free workplaces, restaurants or bars (ibid). Although most states have laws preventing public smoking, the issue is still important. There are always situations in which people are being exposed to secondhand smoke. If smoking was made illegal, these situations wouldn’t occur as often. As secondhand smoke causes unwanted side effects for nonsmokers, it...
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