There are several negative aspects of smoking that one could utilises to argue that smoking should be illegalised, however to an extent one could also argue that smoking should remain legal in the UK. I am going to argue why smoking should not be illegalised, however I will critically analyse all points of view and perspectives while I construct my argument.
Smoking kills, it has been proven. In fact approximately 100,000 people suffer smoking related fatalities every year in the UK; however it should be strongly considered that this statistic is not entirely representative of the population. There are an estimated 10 million smokers in the UK this means only 1% of smokers suffer smoking related fatalities, therefore a staggering 99% of smokers in the UK do not ultimately die because of their addiction.
A substantial amount of smoking-related deaths are caused by three types of disease: lung cancer, chronic bronchitis and emphysema. In 2011, there were 442,759 deaths of adults aged 35 and over in England of which 79,100 (18%) were attributable to smoking. However one must acknowledge that 82% were estimated not to be attributable to smoking. These statistics suggests that the majority of smokers in the UK do not suffer smoking related deaths and therefore illegalising smoking would only be derived from the consideration of the small minority.
Scientists have estimated that lung cancer is the most common cancer in the world for a number of decades. In 2008, there were approximately 1.61 million new cases of lung cancer worldwide, accounting for almost 13% of the total new cancer patients, and 1.38 million deaths. In the UK, where lung cancer is the second most common cancer, 41,428 people were diagnosed with lung cancer in 2009 and 34,859 died of the disease in 2010.
Lung cancer has the largest proportion of cases caused by smoking: According to a recent estimate, (excluding environmental tobacco smoke) and about 80% of cases in women. In the UK about 85% of lung cancer cases in men are attributable to smoking
Because of its poor prognosis, lung cancer is still the most common cause of cancer death in both men and women, responsible for more than 1 in 5 of all cancer deaths in the UK. Fewer than ten per cent of people with lung cancer will survive at least five years beyond diagnosis
One in two persistent smokers will die of a smoking-related illness. Current smokers are fifteen times more likely to die from lung cancer than life-long non-smokers. The risk of dying from lung cancer increases with the number of cigarettes smoked per day, although continuation of smoking is the strongest determinant of lung cancer in smokers. This suggests that the risk of fatality decreases if the duration of smoking decreases, this also shows that quitting the habit also substantially reduces the risk especially if one would quit early.
Smokers who start when they are young are at a particularly increased risk of developing lung cancer. A study found that taking up smoking before the age of 15 doubles the risk of lung cancer compared to starting at the age of 20 or later, after taking in account the amount smoked. This suggests that parents and guardians should guardians ultimately hold the responsibility to have significantly more influence on the activities of their children; the tobacco industry should not be accountable for smokers under the age of 18.
The study also analysed the effects of prolonged cigarette smoking and prolonged cessation on mortality from lung cancer. They found people that succeed in quitting after many years of smoking , even well into mid life , they avoid most of their subsequent risk of lung cancer. The study found that stopping smoking before middle age avoids over 90% of the risk attributable to smoking. Two other major studies have shown similar results. Therefore this shows that probability of smoking related illness or fatality decreases if the