Criminalize Cigarette Smoking Now!
It used to be that everyone smoked. Seriously, 50 years ago, Americans (and those in many other countries around the world) smoked cigarettes like the world was ending. It was what people did; instead of killing time by playing on their iPhones, people used to light up. Rarely, then, would you see a group of people at a table without a cloud of smoke hovering over the table. Well, things have changed quite a bit in the last half-century; the use of cigarettes is less ubiquitous. Things have changed for the better, the healthier, that’s for sure. Today, one could argue that the production and sale of cigarettes should be made illegal, and with good reason.
One reason to criminalize the production, sale and consumption of cigarettes is due to the fact that smoking tobacco has no medical value whatsoever. Research and science says its use is a major cause of cancer and other problems, such as heart disease, diabetes, emphysema, chronic bronchitis and others. Some people, on the contrary, smoke their entire lives without so much as a bad cough – but they are in the minority. Moderate alcohol consumption, rather, has been shown to thin blood, lower the heart rate and relax people. Tobacco does the complete opposite. The consumption and production and sale of tobacco should be made illegal because it’s quite unhealthy – more than that, it’s kills millions of people around the world each year.
Secondly, tobacco is very addictive. Its main chemical is nicotine, a toxic colorless or yellowish, oily liquid, the chief active constituent of tobacco. It acts as a stimulant in small doses, but in larger amounts, it blocks the action of autonomic nerve and skeletal muscle cells. It’s so addictive that seasoned smokers can’t often go but just a few hours without a smoke and withdrawal symptoms are quite intense, though not as harsh as alcohol and opiates. If something is so addictive that people can’t go long without it and so addictive that people struggle for a lifetime trying to quit, then something so detrimental to one’s health should be made illegal, and not just illegal in a small sense: Repercussion for its use, possession, production and sale should result in dire penalties like extreme fines, jail time and criminal proceedings.
Lastly, cigarette smokers often begin smoking in their adolescent years, when they’re caving in to peer pressure and a desire for popularity. They see the “cool kids” doing it, actors in films and TV shows smoking cigarettes – and they see people in everyday life doing it, too, mostly at public places, like benches, parks, outside of restaurants – all over their community. And so they think it is okay, like having a few drinks like adults do. But moderate alcohol consumption in adults has not been proven to affect one’s health negatively. Nonetheless, teens are impressionable and can’t make the best decisions on their own; that’s why they can’t vote or own a gun. They would be just too immature to consider their future and its negative consequences. Teens just don’t think about these things. Well, if the production and sale of cigarettes were to be made illegal, fewer teens would be seeking cigarettes, and less people would begin smoking this addictive, unhealthy substance in the first place. They would not see it, so they would not want it. It’s something we don’t need, and this notion pertains especially to adolescents, who aren’t ready to think about their long-term health, their futures as grandparents, fathers and spouses.
To conclude this argument, that the production and sale (and maybe even its possession and usage) of cigarettes be made illegal, it’s important to consider the facts: Tobacco is very unhealthy – it kills people; nicotine is heavily addictive, and young people want to do it. So, of course, fewer people are smoking today. But we’re forgetting one very important fact about smoking: how disgusting it is. Have you ever smoked? It’s pretty gross. The smoke smells like last night’s dinner burning to a black crisp on the kitchen stove, mixed with a long-decomposing corpse. On top of that, it turns your teeth, tongue and smoking fingertips the nasty, yellowish color of the nicotine. Even worse – a smoker’s clothes and hair always have the foul odor of stale cigarettes. These are just a few more reasons explaining why the production and sale of cigarettes should be made illegal in America.