Cigarette smoking is one of the most powerful addictions known; even more powerful than a dependence on alcohol, heroin, or cocaine. To grasp this well-documented fact, one really doesn’t have to study all the supporting scientific evidence. One simply has to consider that no drug is self administered with the persistence, regularity, and frequency of a cigarette. Unfortunately, many people suffer and die due to the use of cigarettes. One such example involves Bryce’s grandmother, and we will share with you part of her story…Although she thought it was cool at the time, smoking obviously had a life-threatening impact on her life. Because of all the similar cases in this country, my partner and I strongly believe and resolve that: Cigarettes should be treated as an illegal drug in this country.
At the moment, cigarettes are legal, and only banned in a few places. However, they continue to be a devastating but preventable cause of disease and premature death. Our first point is an obvious one: that A. The effects of cigarette use can be fatal. Active smoking kills one of every two people who continue to smoke. It will kill three million people worldwide each year (1 every 10 seconds). The CDC has stated that “the mortality rate of smoking-related-diseases account for more than alcohol, crack, heroin, murders, suicide, car accidents, and AIDS combined.”
Smoking also contributes to many forms of cancer due to the fact that cigarettes contain at least 43 carcinogenic, or cancer-causing substances. The CDC reports that: “Tobacco use accounts for 30% or 1 in 3 of all cancer deaths in the U.S. Smoking is also responsible for 83% of lung cancers.”
Some people argue that slowly killing yourself by cigarettes is a personal choice that the government should not interfere with. However, cigarettes do not just affect the smoker. This leads us to our second contention which is that: B. Second-hand smoke does indeed cause great risk to people around smokers. Nearly nine out of ten non-smoking Americans are exposed to environmental tobacco smoke, and according to the American Heart Association: “about 37,000 to 40,000 people die from heart and blood vessel disease caused by other people’s smoke each year.” So, obviously, this is not just a personal decision. The decision to smoke affects others as well.
This secondhand smoke is so deadly that, the US Environmental Protection Agency released a report in 1992 in which ETS was classified as a Group A carcinogen – a category reserved only for the most dangerous cancer-causing agents in humans.
We have shown that individuals are greatly harmed by cigarettes, but the country’s economy is also hurt. We surmise that D. The government and public financially suffer because of cigarettes. We can admit that the tobacco industry is one of the most profitable business in the country; in 1991 tobacco manufacturers’ revenue was $32 billion. Nevertheless, the costs of smoking are far higher then the income from cigarette sales. The University of Berkeley at California reports that: “Health care costs caused directly by smoking total more than $50 billion each year. Lost economic productivity caused by smoking also costs the US economy more than $50 billion each year. This totals more than $100 billion lost each year to health care costs and lost productivity due to smoking.”
The American Cancer Society sums up the burden by saying that: “Even though smokers die younger than the average American, over the course of their lives, current and former smokers generate an estimate $501 billion in excess health care costs. On average, each cigarette pack sold costs Americans more than $3.90 in smoking-related expenses.
Of course, these numbers represent only the financial costs. No statistic can express the devastation of pain and suffering caused by cigarette smoking.
Our plan to solve the smoking epidemic is expansive yet simple. Unlike another drug like marijuana, which was outlawed outright and caused a black market to erupt, cigarettes will be phased out slowly, so that the people addicted to them will be few and far between. Our program will last for four years, at which time cigarettes will be totally illegal, and most people will not be addicted.
For the first year, the price of cigarette packs will be highly increased; a dollar 50 each. When you think of the fact that about