Every year thousands of people die because of lung cancer or other tobacco related illnesses. Everyone in the world comes in contact with smoke from a cigarette at least once in their lifetime, whether it is at a restaurant or at work. Millions of people are addicted to smoking, and thousands more become addicted every year. Cigarettes and other tobacco products are everywhere. Most of the addicted smokers started when they were young (Roberts 18).
The reason why people get addicted to any type of tobacco product is because all tobacco products have nicotine in them, which is the addictive ingredient (American Thoracic Society 22). Every time a person smokes a cigarette or chews tobacco, that person ingests nicotine. I believe that the tobacco companies should be liable for every tobacco-related death each year. On the other hand, some people believe that everyone has a right to make their own judgment about their life. My opponent, Rosalind Marimont argues drugs and alcohol are more dangerous to society than tobacco (26).
Second hand smoking is not a danger to the health of the community (Marimont 26). There are health benefits for people that do smoke tobacco (Marimont 27). So many people quit smoking each year, it is so ridiculous to think that tobacco products are addicting argues Richard DeGrandpre (39). The facts about tobacco and tobacco products have been shaded by the government and government agencies to make smoking less acceptable and more inconvenient to smokers and tobacco users Sullum argues (55). My opponents firmly believe that there are no risks if a person starts smoking.
As you will see, I will show extenuating facts that disprove my opponents views on tobacco products. My opponent states that smoking is not dangerous, however, I intend to prove that smoking is dangerous not just to smokers, but to everyone as well. It is a proven fact that smoking causes lung cancer and heart disease (American Thoracic Society 19). Every person that breathes the smoke of tobacco products is at risk for tobacco-related illnesses. Even though smoking is not as publicized by the media as much as illegal drugs, cigarettes are just as bad.
Smoking cigarettes leads to the use of other drugs that are more harmful to the person than cigarettes (Hall 22). If smoking was not dangerous, then why is there a commercial on television telling the viewer that the tobacco companies kill 1000 people everyday? The statistics on the number of people that die each year in the United States from tobacco or tobacco-related illness is astonishing. Over four hundred thousand people die each year from smoking (American Thoracic Society 19). Also, a person age twenty-five that is a heavy smoker has a life expectancy that is twenty-five percent less than a person that does not smoke (American Thoracic Society 19).
more For something that is not a hazard to peoples health, they sure do account for a lot of deaths that occur each year. I do not see how my opponent can contend that secondhand smoke is not a heath hazard to the rest of the community. Secondhand smoke affects everyone because it goes into the air. We (nonsmokers) can not protect ourselves from other peoples cigarette smoke (Garrision 44).
Everyone breaths, therefore, if you are sitting next to someone that smokes, you are probably getting a some smoke in your lungs. This happens because when smoke goes into the air, it disappears into the oxygen. As you breath in oxygen, you also breath in a minimal amount of the cigarette smoke. In 1986, a surgeon generals report was released that stated smoke from tobacco products can cause cancer in healthy non-smoking adults (Garrision 45). It has been proven that secondhand smoke can cause lung cancer and other tobacco-related illnesses in people that do not smoke (Garrision 45). Yet the tobacco companies continue to deny that the smoke of cigarettes cause these illnesses to non-users of tobacco (Garrision 47).
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has estimated that secondhand smoke is the cause of over three thousand deaths from lung cancer each year (Garrison 44). Smoking has also been linked to colon cancer. Even if you quit smoking, your risk of colon cancer remains higher than if you had never started smoking (Keyishian 13). Many people are aware of the harmful effects of secondhand smoke and agree with restrictions and/or a total ban on smoking in public (Garrision 48).
Tobacco products should be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration because it affects not only smokers, but non-smokers as well. As you can see, smoke from tobacco products does affect everyone in one way or another. I agree with my opponent that smokers are usually less obese (Marimont 27). However, just because there are a couple of health benefits that not mean that smoking is better for everyone. People who smoke are not able to perform exercises for any length of time (Hall 22).
Smoking reduces the amount of air the lungs can take in and it makes breathing difficult when running or walking ( Keyishian 15). In the early nineties, one in every five deaths were caused by smoking or using tobacco products (American Thoracic Society 19). Hundreds of thousands of people die each year because of tobacco products, whether the person dies from lung cancer, throat cancer, or emphysema (Hall 22). Pregnant women that smoke during their pregnancy will have a child that is born with a low birthweight and premature mortality (American Thoracic Society23).
Smoking with a small child in the house could cause the child to develop asthma or other respiratory problems (America Thoracic Society 23). If a woman smokes while pregnant, she could have a child that has a lower intelligence and behavior problems (America Thoracic Society 22). Just like cocaine and heroin, cigarettes can cause a user to have withdrawal symptoms after a period of not getting the nicotine he/she needs (American Thoracic Society 23). If the smoker does not get their nicotine fix, he/she could become irritable, have anxiety, difficulty concentrating and their appetite may increase (American Thoracic Society 23). The smoker may believe that if he/she does not get their nicotine and gets hungry, he/she may see themselves gaining weight. If gaining a little weight will help you live longer and with fewer health conditions, then I believe the weight it worth it.
The longer you are not smoking, the less of a chance you will have to get cancer or other health problems from tobacco products (American Thoracic Society 23). How can the benefits of smoking out weight the risks involved, especially when it involves innocent children? These children are the future of the world and if they smoke, there life expectancy will diminish greatly with every cigarette they smoke. If the children die, then we, the human race, have no future. Richard DeGrandpre contends that nicotine is not an addictive drug in tobacco products (39). The nicotine in tobacco has met the criteria for it to be a highly addictive and toxic drug to people who use it (Douglas 34). The youth of today are becoming smokers more and more everyday (Bonnie 24).
Statistics have proven that underage smoking has been rising. In 1993, statistics proved that there were more than three million children smoking in the United States (Bonnie 24). The tobacco companies contend that nicotine is not addictive, however, the Food and Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency have released numerous reports on the addictiveness of nicotine (Douglas 34). Smoking is inhaling and exhaling of smoke from a tobacco product (“Smoking” 430). Look, nicotine is used to kill insects and parasites, just think about what is doing to the body of smokers. A smoker may start out just smoking a couple cigarettes a day, but the more the person smokes the higher their dependency on nicotine gets (Douglas 34).
Just like other drugs, the user develops a tolerance which causes them to use more to get the effect he/she wants (Douglas 34). This is how the government connects nicotine to other drugs, because of its addictiveness. Nicotine has been classified as a habit-forming drug (Keyishian 14). Nicotine is not the only ingredient that is bad for the human body. There are many other harmful chemicals in cigarettes such as “arsenic, ammonia, carbon monoxide, methane, acetone,” and many more (Douglas 33).
These chemicals can be very dangerous in large quantities by themselves. I cannot see how anyone can smoke something with so many harmful chemicals in it. Every person that smokes or breathes in smoke from tobacco products are killing themselves whether it is their choice or not. My opponents state that the government has shaded statistics to make smoking less acceptable.
I do not understand how anyone can shade statistical information. Studies have proven how bad tobacco products are for tobacco users and non-tobacco users. Over thirty-seven thousand nonsmokers die of heart-disease each year (Garrision 45). It is estimated that over thirteen thousand non-smokers die from other cancers each year (Garrision 45). Between one hundred and fifty thousand and three hundred thousand cases of lower respiratory-tract infections for children under eighteen months were reportedly linked to secondhand smoke exposure (Garrison 45).
“The Environmental Protection Agency did a study of women who lived with a smoker and those women are 1.19 times more likely to get lung cancer. A female smoker is ten times more likely to get lung cancer than a nonsmoking female. A male smoker is about twenty times more likely to get lung cancer than a nonsmoking male (Sullum 53).” The Center for Disease Control (CDC), did a study on the cigarettes used most by teenagers. The results were that teenagers smoke the most advertised brand of cigarettes (Bailey 74).
The statistical data from government agencies such as the Food and Drug Administration, the Center for Disease Control, and the Environmental Protection Agency is hard concrete facts about the effects of smoking on the human body. As you can see, there is more than enough evidence to support the Food and Drug Administrations claim of serious health risks from tobacco products. The Food and Drug Administration wants to be able to regulate tobacco advertising so it may cut down on the number of teens that start smoking each year. Study after study has proven that with smoking comes major health risks. Even people that do not smoke are at risk of these heath problems. Statistics do not lie, one thousand people die everyday from tobacco or tobacco related illnesses.
Statistical data can not be altered in any way nor can they be shaded by anyone. Tobacco products are not going to go away for good, however the Food and Drug Administration should be given the authority to regulate the advertising of tobacco companies. The only product the Food and Drug Administration can not regulate is the manufacture, sale, packaging, and distribution of tobacco products (Douglas 33). If the advertisements can be cut down, then many teenagers will not be influenced to try them as much as they are now.
Given this compromise, the tobacco companies will still get money from the people that are already addicted, but it will greatly reduce the amount of money they make each year. Tobacco products are always going to be around, but I hope that the Food and Drug Administration will be able to regulate them for the safety of not only adults, but for all of the children as well. Bibliography American Thoracic Society. “Cigarette Smoking Is Harmful.” Bruno Leone, ed. Tobacco. 17-24.
Bailey, William Everett. “Tobacco Advertising Encourages Teens To Smoke.” Bruno Leone, ed. Tobacco. 71-79.
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Douglas, Clifford E. “Nicotine Is Addictive.” Bruno Leone, ed. Tobacco. 31-36. Garrision, John R.
“Secondhand Smoke Is Harmful.” Bruno Leone, ed. Tobacco. 43-48. Hall, Sabrina F.
“Cigarettes Addict Teenagers and Lead to Use of Other Drugs.” Bruno Leone, ed. Addiction. 21-23. Keyishian, Elizabeth.
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