According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 46 million Americans ages 18 years and older smoke cigarettes, and that there are 443,000 smoking-related deaths recorded each year in the country. There are many, many reasons why cigarettes should be banned. But they can be summarized into three major reasons.
It harms everyone – smokers and non-smokers
Smoking affects an individual’s health in so many ways. It increases his or her risk of developing cancer, cardiovascular disease and mental health problems, including dementia. But aside from this, smoking also damages other people’s health, particularly those who don’t use cigarettes. Secondhand smoke is a major risk factor for most respiratory problems affecting non-smokers. The CDC reports that children are more vulnerable to secondhand smoke because they are still growing and developing. Kids frequently exposed to cigarette smoke are more likely to suffer from asthma, bronchitis, pneumonia, middle ear infection and sudden infant death syndrome.
Smoking is a major cause of preventable death
Smoking causes premature death. One in five deaths in the US is caused by smoking, making tobacco use the largest cause of premature death in the country. That’s how deadly this habit is. Smoking has been widely linked to different forms of cancer, such as lung, breast, cervical, prostate, stomach and mouth cancer. Why would it not cause life-threatening diseases? Cigarette smoke contains over 4,000 hazardous chemicals that cause immediate effects to the body, particularly the lungs, blood, blood vessels, heart and brain.
Smoking puts a financial burden on society.
Smoking is such an expensive habit. Not only do you pay for the insurmountable taxes whenever you buy a pack – you also pay higher premium rates for your health insurance. And, when you get sick, you also pay for the hospitalization or medical checkups, and the meds of course. What’s more, your productivity is reduced, which puts a huge toll on your finances. On a larger scale, the CDC reports that $193 is spent annually in the US due to smoking – $97 billion from lost productivity and $96 billion from smoking-related health care costs. Meanwhile, secondhand smoke causes the government 10 billion a year – $5 billion in medical costs associated and $4.6 billion in lost wages.
The government funds countless campaigns to discourage the public from smoking. But the problem is – they still allow cigarettes to be sold. After a few tries, a person can easily get hooked to smoking and develop a serious condition that can destroy his or her health – nicotine addiction.
The said reasons why cigarettes should be banned are too strong to outweigh the single benefit the government can get from tobacco manufacturers: tax. Many people may not support the banning of cigarettes in the “land of the free”. It would probably take plenty of years (probably decades) before we achieve a tobacco-free country, if that’s ever going to happen. Nonetheless, we, individuals, can take action today to save ourselves and our family’s health from the dangers of smoking. By stopping now, and encouraging others to quit, we can all significantly reduce the increasing health and economic problems brought by smoking.