4 December 2011
Cigarettes Should be Made Illegal
Tobacco has been in America for nearly 8000 years. It started being cultivated and used for pleasure around 2000 years ago. (Cancer Council) People have been using it for a very long time. That means that the past 2000 years, it has been causing hundreds-of-thousands of deaths. Tobacco is widely known for its cancer-causing ways. The assumption could be made that people would stray away from it. The reality is that people constantly use tobacco products. In 2006, consumers spent $90 billion on tobacco products. (CDC) It’s baffling to know that an absurd amount of money like that is spent on something kills you.
Tobacco has been in the world for over 2.5 million years. It has been around longer than humans. It was found in a small block of fossilized tobacco in the Maranon river basin in northeastern Peru. It wasn’t until about 6000 BCE, that the tobacco plant started growing in the Americas. Then in 1 BCE, tobacco started being used in a variety of ways. It was used for smoking, chewing, and in hallucinogenic enemas (by the Peruvian Aguaruna aboriginals). (Borio)
In the seventeenth century, tobacco became a very popular crop. It was wanted everywhere around the world. In certain countries, it was strongly desired. In others, it was despised. It was abolished in Turkey because Ibrahim Pecevi wrote, “"Puffing in each other's faces, they made the streets and markets stink.” (Borio) In 1672, in Massachusetts, there was a law passed that stated, “No man shall take any tobacco within 20 poles of any house not near any barn, hay cock, etc. (for prevention of fires) nor in any inn, except in a private room so that none take offense.” (Borio) In 1832, an Egyptian artilleryman invented cigarettes during the Siege of Acre. He and a few other people were in charge of the cannons. After the battle was over, the crew was awarded a bag of tobacco. Because their smoking pipe was broken, he decided to roll the tobacco in paper tubes that were used by the cannons.
As the cigarette became more open to the public, they became more and more popular. It was in the 1930’s that they became extremely popular in North America. During that time, smoking was encouraged. People didn’t know how bad tobacco really was for a person. A lot of people ended up having throat cancer because of the excessive amount of tobacco use. Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, including 43 known cancer-causing (carcinogenic) compounds and 400 other toxins. These include nicotine, tar, and carbon monoxide, as well as formaldehyde, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, arsenic, and DDT. Nicotine is highly addictive. Smoke containing nicotine is inhaled into the lungs, and the nicotine reaches your brain in just six seconds. (Quitsmoking) Nicotine starts off as a stimulant, making the user feel better about what he/she is doing. If it is used too much, it turns into a depressant. That makes the person want more because it keeps them from feeling bad. As the person smokes the cigarette, he/she inhales tar. It has been determined that the first puff of the cigarette contains half of what the last what contains. The tar then builds up in the lungs making it harder to breathe. (Quitsmoking)
As the person continues to smoke the tobacco, it starts to make the person feel better. Inhaling becomes easier and it feels like no damage is being done. The tobacco companies added filters to their products to make them seem safer. Well, according to Lowell Kleinman, M.D., and Deborah Messina-Kleinman, M.P.H., “[They] do not remove enough tar to make cigarettes less dangerous. They are just a marketing ploy to trick you into thinking you are smoking a safer cigarette.” (Quitsmoking) Because a lot of consumers were complaining of the bitter taste, they added chemicals to make them taste better. The problem with these “problem solvers” is that they also cause...
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