September 19, 2014
Improving life for all
Smoking in the United States is the single most preventable cause of cancer. In addition, smoking-related illness in the United States costs more than $289 billion a year, including at least $133 billion in direct medical care for adults and $156 billion in lost productivity (Stetson). Smoking and Tobacco are harmful to yourself and others, but by taking a few bold steps in the future, we can stop that.
As researching and learning more and more facts about smoking I started to open my eyes even wider to the harmful effects of this habit. I knew from a young age that smoking was bad for you. It is how I was raised and as I grew up I continued to learn for myself. Smoking and tobacco do so much more damage than I realized. Not only can you continuously harm yourself every time you “light one up,” but you are also hurting the people around you. Some smokers may know but don’t think about it. If a father knew everytime he was smoking that his child could be affected by it, do you think he would continue to smoke?
Tobacco companies aren’t like others. They don’t have to try and keep selling their product, because of the addictive nature of smoking. For some people all it takes is one cigarette and after that they are addicted. They have a product that will chemically force your mind to want more after you have the nicotine in your system. That is one of the many reasons I believe that products like cigarettes should be illegal. “Nicotine, a component of tobacco, is the primary reason that tobacco is addictive, although cigarette smoke contains many other dangerous chemicals, including tar, carbon monoxide, acetaldehyde, nitrosamines, and more” (Volkow).
Now if that isn’t convincing enough for you, then lets move on to the next negative factor, cancer. The American Cancer Society predicts that there will be well over 150,000 deaths alone in the United States just from lung cancer. Think about that, the most preventable type of cancer in the world is causing thousands of deaths every year with the main cause being tobacco products.
Now maybe I should put it into a better perspective. There are close to 500,000 deaths each year in the United States that are early deaths due to tobacco. This means that 1 in every 5 people that die each year could be saved! So if all we have to do is pass a few laws to prevent smoking in the United States to save not only thousands of people now, but millions in future generations, I would like to think that it is the right thing to do. Many people may say, well people are smart enough to calculate the risk and smoke if the want to, but this simply isn’t true. We are all human and go through rough times, and if one bad night with emotions and stress leads to a cigarette because it is supposed to “make you feel better,” that could have you hooked for the rest of your life.
We all know that tobacco is an