Should Tobacco Be Illegal

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Should Tobacco be Illegal

Tobacco is deeply ingrained into the roots of America and is a very addictive and

deadly force. Since the success of the first commercial crop in 1612, tobacco has been

raking in billions of dollars annually.(CNN) Even today tobacco is one of the largest

exports in the world despite the staggering number of deaths that it causes each year. So

why is it that tobacco is still legal? I feel we should just get rid of it completely, but it

isn’t that easy. Some people think that if we were to ban tobacco, the market would

crash. Others feel illegalizing it wouldn’t be right because it should be up to individual

whether or not they want to use tobacco.

Ancient Mayans used tobacco as medicine and during their religious ceremonies.

Christopher Columbus was the one who brought tobacco to Europe, but it didn’t catch on

until the 1500s. Consumption was done through pipe smoking, chewing, snuff, and hand

rolled cigarettes. Cigars didn’t become popular until the early 1800s and tobacco wasn’t

popular in the united states until after the civil war. The sale of cigarettes skyrocketed

with the invention of the first cigarette making machine in the late 1800s.(CNN)

The ill affects of smoking weren’t completely know until the 1900s. And even in

1944 the American Cancer Society were just cautioning people of the “possible” health

risks in smoking, but there was no hard evidence.(CNN) Cigarettes have about 600

different chemicals, all of which were approved by the FDA as food additives. The thing

is though, these additives were never tested by smoking them.(When you burn something

a chemical change occurs.) Of the 4,000 chemical compounds found in the smoke of a

cigarette, a majority are cancer causing agents. Nicotine, hydrogen cyanide, arsenic,

benzyl alcohol, ammonia and caffeine are all found in cigarette smoke.

Both smoking and chewing can cause almost every type of cancer imaginable,

whether it be lung cancer, throat cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, lip cancer, and the

list goes on. Smoking causes heart disease, high blood pressure, infertility, vision loss,

thyroid disease, COPD, asthma… do I need to continue? Almost any horrible disease or

ailment you can think of is most likely caused by cigarettes. Not only is it bad for the

smoker, its bad for everyone around the person smoking. There are over 40 carcinogens

in second-hand smoke alone. Cigarettes will kill 500 million of the 6 billion people

living today. (Warner) Think about that next time you have your child sitting in a room

with someone smoking.

That should be enough of an argument for someone to not smoke but if it isn’t,

then maybe the cost is. Cigarettes average six dollars a pack, to fifty dollars a carton. If

you’re a pack-a-day smoker and so is your wife or husband then that’s $360 a month.

That’s as much as a car payment. What would you rather have? Do you know how much

money the tobacco industry pulls in each year? Hundreds of billions of dollars and that’s

not even including tax revenue. These CEOs of big tobacco corporations’ pockets are

getting fat by killing people like me and you. Its killing people like our parents and like

our children.

Some argue that tobacco shouldn’t be illegalized because it creates a lot of money

in the American market. Like I said before the industry does bring in billions and billions

of dollars each year, but, if the money wasn’t spent on tobacco it would surely be spent on

something else. If tobacco was banned, it wouldn’t be an overnight occurrence. It would

be a long process, therefore allowing time for people in the tobacco-farming business to

transition. And since the hundreds of billions of dollars that were being spent on

cigarettes, is now being dispersed throughout the economy on...
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