Making Tobacco Illegal: The Fight That Should be Over
I. Tobacco is ever present in this modern society. It is a daily encounter, and little is thought of it. This encounter may be passing through a cloud of smoke on the way to work, or stepping outside to smoke a cigarette, if a person so chooses. Tobacco cannot be ignored with people inhaling smoke by choice or not. In “Smoke alarm,” the article illustrates the dangers of inhaling secondhand smoke that is not directly inhaled, saying,” Nonsmokers have to breathe sidestream smoke continually. This smoke, which does not pass through a filter, is burdened with twice the tar and nicotine, 50 times the ammonia and substantially more cancer-causing substances, like nitrosamines, than mainstream smoke,” (Cousins). Smoking strongly affects the health of an individual in a negative way, and it affects the health of people around a smoker as well. As the health effects of smoking are becoming increasingly well known, it is difficult to not acknowledge them and take action accordingly. Why then, do people continue to smoke? The addictiveness of cigarettes is one reason why. “The nicotine in cigarettes is highly addictive. Medical experts say that it is as addictive as heroin or cocaine,” (Kennedy). Once a person starts smoking, they become hooked on it and it becomes more difficult to stop and quit with each cigarette they have. In turn, being physically and mentally reliant to a product that so negatively impacts one’s health leads to the deaths of well over 400,000 people every year in the United States alone. That number is higher than the deaths of automobile accidents, alcohol abuse, illegal drugs, AIDS, murder, and suicide combined (Kennedy). Our society has not lived without tobacco though, as it may seem obvious to do knowing the harmful effects coupled with that staggering number in mind. The tobacco companies show why all in their numbers. “Tobacco is the country's fifth-largest cash crop. The industry's revenues compare with those of the aerospace and electrical-equipment fields; consumers spend about the same amount of money on cigarettes that they invest in radios, televisions, records and musical instruments combined. Excise taxes alone on tobacco add about $6 billion annually to state and federal coffers,” (Cousins). With that significant of an effect on the economy of the United States, living without tobacco would cause an enormous impact on the people of America. The tobacco companies have a stronghold in the economy of the United States and with certainty they do not want tobacco gone. But many people make a strong push for tobacco to be outlawed as it has been in other countries. A regulation of tobacco is the least they push for and that voice has not been quiet.
II. Edward Kennedy defines the fight against tobacco in his article “The Food and Drug Administration Should Have the Authority to Regulate Tobacco Products.” Senator Kennedy understands that the complete illegalization of tobacco products is out of hand currently, and the best option he has is to allow for the regulation through the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This article utilizes the overwhelming impact that tobacco products and smoking have on the health of Americans and the dishonesty and the ignorant practices of the tobacco companies to prove why a regulation at the least is needed.
Kennedy details in this article the marketing techniques that tobacco companies use in their advertising to attract new smokers, the bent claims the the companies make and the concealment of information. Annually, the tobacco industry will promote its products using thirteen billion dollars. A large majority of that money is going for the crooked process to get children to try smoking and get hooked on it before they are even legally allowed to (Kennedy). With the seemingly infinite number of deaths from tobacco stated above, it is cruel that the companies would want...
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