Cigarettes-Killing Our Country
This year alone cigarettes will kill over 420,000 Americans,
and many more will suffer from cancers, and circulatory and
respiratory system diseases. These horrible illnesses were known to
originate from cigarettes for years, and recently nicotine, the main
chemical additive in cigarettes, was declared addictive by the Food
and Drug Administration. This explains why smokers continue to use
cigarettes even though smokers are aware of the constantly warned
about health dangers in cigarettes. Although smokers constitute the
majority of people who suffer from cigarettes, they are not the only
ones ailing from cigarette smoke. As UC San Francisco scientist and
author Stanton Glantz estimates in Shari Roan's article, the amount
of second-hand smoke inhaled by the typical nonsmoker is equivalent to
one cigarette smoked per day. Even that amount of cigarette
smoke can damage a person's heart. Some
researchers have also concluded that smoking by pregnant women
causes the deaths of over 5,000 babies and 115,000
miscarriages. The only way to terminate the suffering and loss of
life brought upon by cigarettes exists as a complete proscription
on them. Opponents to the banning of cigarettes argue that it will
create a profound negative impact on the economy. They do not realize
that this nation places the health of its citizens above its financial
status. Although many people continue to remain convinced that
absolving our country of cigarettes does not merit some economical
loss, this remains as a necessary step in eradicating our country of
these virulent stiflers of life.

For years cigarettes have been known to cause cancer,
emphysema, and other horrible illnesses. The deaths of over 420,000
of Americans this year will be attributable to cigarettes. With all
the other causes of preventable deaths, alcohol, illegal drugs, AIDS,
suicide, transportation accidents, fires, and guns, cigarettes still
account for more preventable deaths than those do combined, as stated
by Lonnie Bristow M.D. of the American Medical Association at her
speech to Indiana University. We can no longer stand aside and watch
fellow Americans die because they smoke cigarettes. Thousands of
smokers try to rid themselves of cigarettes but can't because of the
physiological dependence they develop, chiefly imputable to its
chemical additive nicotine. Nicotine was recently declared addictive
by the Food and Drug Administration, which explains why many smokers
continue to smoke despite the numerous health warnings on cigarette
smoking. Although cigarettes do not offer as intense an effect as
drugs like heroin and cocaine, they rank higher in the level of
dependence it creates in the user. Since cigarettes fit in the array
of regulated addictive drugs, they should also be regulated like those
in the same array as cigarettes. David Kesslar of the Food and Drug
Administration says in a letter to an antismoking coalition,
"...cigarette manufacturers may intend that their products contain
nicotine to satisfy an addiction...Although technology to remove
nicotine from cigarettes was developed years ago cigarette
manufacturers shun it. Instead they control with precision the
amount of nicotine in their products, ensuring that it will maintain
an addiction." Nicotine engenders it almost impossible for cigarette
smokers to quit smoking because of its addictive nature, and with the
cigarette manufacturers manipulating the amount nicotine the only
manner available remains to outlaw cigarettes.
The health of tens of thousands of nonsmoking Americans a year
are affected by cigarette smokers. Of those who do not smoke 53,000
will die and countless others will suffer from cardiovascular diseases
as reported by the American Heart Association.
Scott Ballin of the Coalition on Smoking or Health says that, "The
scientific evidence continues to accumulate that says there is this
connection to secondhand smoke and cardiovascular disease." Why should
smokers be allowed enjoy their cigarettes at the expense of those who
do not? By permitting the smoking of cigarettes the United States
government denies the right the fifth amendment gave its citizens,
...nor be deprived of life, liberty...A report published from the
Cardiovascular Research Institute at UC San Francisco specifically
explains how secondhand smoke affects a nonsmokers body: it reduces
the body's ability to deliver oxygen to the heart because the carbon
monoxide produced by the cigarettes competes with the oxygen for
binding sites on red blood cells, it increases the amount of
lactate--a salt derived from lactic acid-- in blood, making it more
difficult to exercise, it activates blood platelets, the cells which
cause cuts to form scabs, causing blood clots in the arteries, and it
irritates tissue damage after a heart attack. Dr. Homayoun Kazemi of
Harvard University states that, "studies are showing...small amounts
of....cigarette smoke are having greater effects on the non smoker's
system.". If cigarettes were outlawed not only would we be saving
millions of smokers, but also thousands of nonsmokers as well.

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Opponents to the banning of cigarettes base their arguments on
the possible negative impact that may transpire on America's economy.
Such arguments include statements like ex-smokers could live longer
and receive greater Social Security and Medicare payments, and that
tobacco farmers would lose a large piece of their revenue. The first
argument makes Americans appear to be burdens to this country, and by
smoking cigarettes they make themselves less of a nuisance by killing
themselves. The opponents second statement about tobacco farmers is
misleading because farmers also sell their tobacco for cigars, and in
addition to tobacco hundreds of varieties of other cash crops may also
be planted. The benefits of outlawing cigarettes greatly outnumber the
disadvantages, for example, many scientists believe a link between
smoking and a shortened life span exists between the two, a ban on
cigarettes could increase life spans; many studies suggest that
billions of dollars now spent on smoking related illnesses create
health care savings; smoking related ailments could be reduced by
outlawing cigarettes, and companies could garner an added $8.4
billion; families could save money by not purchasing cigarettes; and
accidental fires costing millions of dollars caused by cigarettes
would cease. With almost only benefits attached to a proscription of
cigarettes, the next logical step is to outlaw them.


Although a complete ban on cigarettes currently remains far
from attainment, several organizations recently helped create a bill
that could control cigarettes much in the same way the government now
controls drugs. One such organization, the Food and Drug
Administration, headed by David Kesslar drafted a major part, which
would: require manufacturers to disclose the 700 chemical additives in
cigarettes; reduce or prohibit the level of harmful chemical
additives; require cigarette companies to warn of the addictive nature
of nicotine; restrict tobacco advertising and promotion; and control
the level of nicotine cigarettes contain. As we near a complete ban on
cigarettes many fights will be fought, but eventually cigarettes will
be eliminated.