Smoking - Australia's number 1 killer Essay

Submitted By lanagorman
Words: 578
Pages: 3

Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable deaths in Australia, smoking is a health hazard for smokers and non-smokers. Smoking is also an expensive habit, people who smoke cigarettes can spend up to $2,500 a year on them. Smokers’ claim that it helps relax them and it releases stress but the negative aspects of smoking outweigh the positive. By making tobacco an illicit drug we can help prevent smoking related deaths in Australia.
Tobacco is a green, leafy plant that is grown in warm climates. After it is picked, it is dried, ground up, and used in different ways. It can be smoked in a cigarette, pipe, or cigar. It can be chewed or sniffed through the nose. Nicotine is one of the more than 4,000 chemicals in cigarettes and its smoke. It is the chemical that makes tobacco addictive or habit forming. Once we smoke, chew, or sniff tobacco, nicotine goes into our bloodstream, and our body wants more. The nicotine in tobacco makes it a drug. This means that when we use tobacco, it changes our body in some way. Because nicotine is a stimulant, it speeds up the nervous system, so we feel like we have more energy. It also makes the heart beat faster and raises blood pressure.
The legislation that is relevant to making tobacco illegal is the ‘drugs misuse act 1986’. This legislation does not currently effect tobacco users but if it becomes an illegal drug it will. If tobacco becomes an illegal drug it should be classified as a schedule 2 drug. In this current legislation there are not penalties for tobacco but if tobacco becomes illegal it should have the same penalties as marijuana.
There are many advantages to banning tobacco and the advantages most definitely outweigh the disadvantages. Tobacco smoke contains carbon monoxide, a gas which – if inhaled – can severely reduce the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. It does so by combining with the blood pigment haemoglobin and preventing it from carrying the oxygen it was supposed to. This action of carbon monoxide displays one great advantage of the ban on smoking. People standing next to the smoker will, against their wishes, be inhaling the tobacco smoke emanating from the tip of the cigar or cigarette as well as that exhaled by the smoker. Thus, large quantities of carbon monoxide will be entering the “victim’s” blood stream,