Cigarettes Should Not Be Banned
Word Count: 1057
Tobacco products, cannabis and alcohol are amongst one of the most used recreational drugs in Australia. Australian’s smoke approximately 21 billion cigarettes a year. Advocates against the production, sale and use of cigarettes suggest so on the basis of the associated health risks and smoking as an environmental hazard. However, to consider the banishment of cigarettes does not consider basic human rights to its most simple level; that is the freedom of choice. Furthermore, the argument against cigarettes does not consider the benefits that the sale and production of cigarettes has on society. The government has taken a pro-active approach and has fulfilled its rightful duties of protecting and warning Australian citizens of the effects of smoking through plain packaging campaigns, implementation of heavy regulation and laws. The current laws are enforced to prevent underage use and littering. The Government may have the responsibility to operate in the best interests of citizens but it does not hold the right to control an individual’s life decisions. The present situation in relation to cigarette use in Australia reflects the most appropriate way to deal with cigarettes and therefore there is no need to make the production and sale of cigarettes illegal.
Every human is born with the right to life and is entitled to the freedom of choice. To enforce the banishment of cigarette production and sale would violate the basic foundation of which makes us an individual. Research shows that the carcinogens in cigarette smoke have cancer-causing properties which damage cells over a period of time through prolonged use. However, as a human we are responsible for our own decision making process and the outcome of that decision. Whether we engage in risky behavior or not is up to the discretion of each individual. Humans are exposed to risky activities and faced with choices to be made in each and every moment of their lives. Whether it be driving their children to school in a motor vehicle with the risk of being involved in a crash and having their guts splatter all over the road, working in a mining site with the risk of having the mine collapse on their body and being suffocated to death or consuming an excess amount of calories every day, becoming extremely obese and consequently dying from diabetes. Therefore it is invalid that cigarettes should be banned yet engaging in life itself should not. If cigarettes are to be banned because they are bad for you then all things that are bad for you should be made illegal which is impossible – including aging. The Australian government has considered this and has taken the appropriate actions to warn Australian citizens about the long term effects of smoking without consolidating the right of choice. The homogenous packaging which has removed all branding has been made mandatory in Australia since December 2012. The plain packaging campaign reinforces diseases associated of cigarette usage with grotesque images highlighting and making clear to users the potential health hazards involved to those who in engage in smoking.
The production and sale of cigarettes is also very beneficial to the Australian economy. The sale of cigarettes creates more jobs and consequently more opportunity for Australian citizens. Furthermore, cigarette sales produce heavy tax generating revenue. Sales are taxed at a rate 54.7% and with 3.045 billion Australian dollars worth of sales in March quarter 2014, the tax provides a significant amount of funding for public health, education and welfare. That is some real cash money right there. Advocates against the sale and production of cigarettes argue that smokers are costing Australian tax payers unnecessary amounts of money through hospitalisation costs although one could argue that smokers actually finance their own healthcare and more through the enormous amounts of taxes paid.…