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The human body is incredibly fragile. Countless things in the world can change how well the body functions. One such thing is cigarettes. At some point, the population has learned about the dangerous effects of smoking. Smoking can cause heart disease and cancer, the two leading causes of death in America. If cigarettes or tobacco products were outlawed, health would improve nationwide. Many children and teens become influenced to smoke cigarettes, which leads to lung cancer, respiratory illness, and even early death.
Cigarettes were first introduced to the United States in the early nineteenth century and became popular during the civil war. During this period, a massive movement against tobacco products took place. This development was led by Seventh-day Adventists, whose most candid figure was Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. Dr. John Harvey Kellog is most famously known for inventing cornflakes as part of his ‘biological living’ movement. Kellogg also believed that smoking lowered a man’s morals, as those who smoke in public have no respect for those nearby. He studied the dangerous side effects of smoking tobacco and eventually published a book based on his previous studies called “Tobaccoism, or How Tobacco Kills.” His book comprises research from other doctors and physicians. Kellogs’ studies are incredibly similar to ones we have today, such as different cancers caused by smoking or damage to the organs. ‘It thus appears that tobacco smoke contains not less than nineteen poisons, every one of which is capable of producing deadly effects.” At the time, many believed that cigarettes provided mental benefits such as relief from stress and fatigue. Dr. Kellogg knew this was wrong, however, and was very outspoken against it. “ If a man feels more “fit” after a cigarette or a cigar, it is only because he has become a drug addict and was suffering for the want of his accustomed “dope.” Dr. Kellogg even provided healthier replacements for such problems, such as a warm bath and plenty of rest. Kellogg knew if a man was suffering from mental or social distress, they should seek help instead of a cigarette. Despite his efforts, however, any attempts to ban smoking only occurred in the late nineties.
Cigarettes damage nearly every organ in the human body. Smoking cigarettes can slowly damage the skin, hands, feet, mouth, bones, heart, respiratory system, and reproductive system. The respiratory system takes the most damage when someone smokes cigarettes. Cellular breakdown in the lungs – connected to smoking ninety percent of the time – is the top reason for malignancy in U.S. in people the same. It can cause shortness of breath, constant coughing, pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, and lung cancer. The tobacco contained inside cigarettes also produces two poisonous substances; carbon monoxide, and tar. Carbon monoxide replaces the oxygen contained in blood and stops the organs from working correctly. Tar coats the lungs in a thick substance that makes it harder to breathe. Heavy smokers lose about twenty years of their life to smoking and more than fifty percent die due to smoking-related diseases. “Smoking is the most important and preventable cause of morbidity and premature mortality in the developed and developing world.” The nicotine contained inside cigarettes is also highly addictive and can make it incredibly hard to stop smoking. This allows tobacco companies to continue to make a profit. Only three to seven percent of those who smoke and want to quit do so on their own. Quitting lowers the chance of getting any smoking-related diseases and prevents any progression of said diseases. “By 48 hours, all nicotine has left the body, and the former smoker’s taste and smell are on their way to recovering.” After extended periods, those who smoked begin recovering even more. After one year of cessation, the chance of getting a heart attack drops by nearly fifty percent. Following fifteen years of abstinence, the danger of a heart attack lowers to individuals who have never smoked. Individuals who quit smoking improve their health dramatically, but it is very challenging.
Cigarettes and tobacco products can also cause extreme damage to the male and female reproductive systems. When females smoke cigarettes, they have difficulty becoming pregnant and risk harming the child. Mothers who smoke are bound to convey their infants early and are a common source of death, handicap, and illness among infants. Females who smoke while pregnant also have a higher risk of placenta previa, placental abruption, premature births, low birth-weight babies, miscarriages, stillbirths, ectopic pregnancies, and other birth defects. Males who smoke can experience impotence and infertility due to damage to the blood vessels, decreased sperm concentration, decreased motility, fewer normal-shaped sperm, and increased sperm DNA damage. Smoking also damages many other important arteries and blood vessels in the human body. Smoking increases the risk of heart attacks, strokes, coronary heart disease, peripheral arterial disease, peripheral vascular disease, and aortic aneurysms. Smoking cigarettes can increase the time it takes to heal from wounds, increase the risk of skin infections, and increase the severity of said skin infections. Tobacco products also contain up to seven thousand chemicals, of which approximately sixty-nine cause cancer. But those who quit are more likely to live longer than those who do not smoke. “Some research says that quitting before the age of 40 reduces the risk of dying from smoking-related disease by about 90%.” Only seven percent of adult smokers quit smoking, while another fifty-five wanted to. The good news is, however, that the amount of adults who smoke has gone down significantly. ‘According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), current smoking in the U.S. has declined from 20.9% in 2005 to 13.7% in 2018. The number of smokers who have quit is also rising.’ If this continues, the percentage of American citizens who smoke eventually reaches zero. But many more people would die before that happens. Banning tobacco products would save lives.
Those who smoke have a hard time quitting, and not just because of the massive amounts of nicotine contained in cigarettes. Tobacco companies use the addictiveness of cigarettes to their advantage. Tobacco companies are not legally allowed to advertise cigarettes directly, so they endorse their products indirectly. Cigarettes are normally sold near the cashier, where people are more likely to buy them, like candy. They also use deals to attract customers who are trying to quit, such as two-for-one deals. Tobacco companies do not necessarily advertise to adults only, however. They target children and teens, hoping to attract future customers. Studies show that children in foreign countries are learning about cigarettes in public, thanks to tobacco companies. “With novel marketing and flavors to appeal to first-time smokers, Big Tobacco seems to be aiming for youth smokers in the developing world.” Logical proof shows that tobacco companies publicizing and advancement impact teens to begin consuming tobacco. Young people introduced to cigarette ads frequently discover the advertisements engaging. “As recently as two-thousand five, R.J. Reynolds was adding flavors- such as orange-mint, chocolate, and vanilla-to its camel cigarettes to increase their appeal to youth and first-time smokers.” By advertising to children, they can have customers for life.
When children smoke, their lungs can become permanently stunted, making it harder to breathe and exercise. Teens begin experiencing the same effects heavy smokers would at a much younger age. The nicotine contained inside cigarettes also causes children to become addicted and continue smoking as they age, leading to even more health issues. “One of the most serious problems is nicotine addiction, which often leads to long-term tobacco use as kids get older.” Kids who smoke at an early age are also more likely to drink alcohol and partake in illegal drugs than non-smokers would. Also, e-cigarettes and vapes may influence kids to use other tobacco products. “Teens who smoke are also more likely to get into fights, carry weapons, attempt suicide, suffer from mental health problems such as depression, and engage in high-risk sexual behaviors.” And although not all chemicals contained in cigarettes can lead to cancer, many of them irritate the lungs and upper airways. The chemicals also cause the infamous smoker’s cough. Smoking also increases blood pressure and the risk of blood clotting, which can be fatal. These numerous health effects lead individuals who smoke to pass on around ten years sooner than individuals who have never smoked. Smoking is also responsible for about thirty percent of all cancer deaths and twenty percent of all cancer cases in the United States.
Many argue that tobacco products are beneficial. Cigarettes and other tobacco products boost the economy, while hospitals make about eleven billion dollars thanks to smoking-related problems. An economy will also suffer devastating economic consequences without the cultivation, production, distribution, and sale of tobacco products. Jobs will be lost, wages will fall, tax collections will plummet, and trade surpluses are dangerously moving in the direction of deficits. But this is a tobacco company’s favorite myth. Tobacco companies only contribute a small amount of money to Governments around the world. “Tobacco farming constitutes a modest source of employment in most countries and tobacco manufacturing employment constitutes well under 1% of total manufacturing employment in most countries.” Tobacco companies do not make as much money as people would think. It is also a common misconception that smoking tobacco products is protected by the ninth amendment. On the off chance that there was a legitimate avocation for an option to smoke, it would come from the United States Constitution. “Smokers are not a specially protected category of people under the Equal Protection Clause of the Constitution.” The government has the full power and right to ban tobacco products nationwide. Twenty-six state governments have already banned smoking in many public places such as bars, restaurants, schools, and workplaces. Other states would be wise to follow their example. There is no real reason to argue against a complete ban on tobacco products. Banning the production of tobacco products would even help those trying to quit smoking, as the temptation to do so would be gone.
Cigarettes are best known for how addictive they are thanks to the nicotine they contain. But nicotine itself isn’t incredibly dangerous. “While not cancer-causing or excessively harmful on its own, nicotine is heavily addictive and exposes people to the extremely harmful effects of tobacco dependency.” Chewing or smoking tobacco products releases more nicotine than cigarettes and can be much more addictive. It is so addictive that it is almost as difficult to quit as heroin. Studies have shown that consuming nicotine makes cocaine even more addictive, making it even harder to quit either of them. “The American Heart Association says that nicotine consumed from smoking tobacco is one of the hardest substances to quit.” Nicotine’s various side effects can affect the heart, hormones, gastrointestinal system, and pancreas. Although not directly, nicotine causes our brain to release dopamine and feel pleasurable. “Dopamine is a brain chemical that affects emotions, movements, and sensations of pleasure and pain. If your brain dopamine levels rise, the feeling of contentment is higher.” With the combined effects of nicotine, it becomes insanely addictive. And those trying to quit also experience withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety, depression, moodiness, and irritability. These symptoms can lead those who are trying to quit to smoke again. By banning tobacco products altogether, there would be no risk of nicotine addiction.
With so many harmful effects caused by smoking, health would benefit from a ban. Smoking is the number one leading cause of death in the United States. This fact itself should be enough to get cigarettes banned. Smoking is responsible for over four hundred thousand deaths a year in the United States alone. By banning the sale and production of tobacco products, health would improve dramatically. Aside from diminishing human anguish, a ban on the production of tobacco products would bring about reserve funds in the domain of medical care, expanded work efficiency, decreased damages from fires, and a more modest worldwide carbon footprint. Smoking in the twentieth century caused more than 100 million deaths, though a billion could die in our century if something does not change.
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