Hello, today I am here to talk to you about the life-threatening consequences smoking can have and why I believe that it should be illegal. Across the world, even in the most deprived areas, millions of people are smoking. Every minute of every day, these smokers, young and old, are paying for cigarettes to feed their deadly craving. It is a well-known fact that smoking can seriously damage your health, not to forget the innocent people who are in the presence of harmful toxins and chemicals. Last year, over 42,000 people died from lung cancer, a staggering figure to be lost. What shocks me are the people that continue to smoke despite knowing the consequences. If we don’t take away this hazard completely, the future looks perilous. By smoking, you are instantaneously putting yourself at risk of factors that will impact your daily life. The nicotine in the cigarettes turn smokers teeth an unappealing yellow tint, regular smokers may even find themselves with yellow fingernails.
Have you ever sat next to someone on a train or bus and smelt a heavy stench of tobacco? No-one likes this smell so why should non-smokers like us have to put up with it? We shouldn’t. Furthermore, this unavoidable odour can disadvantage smokers when job-hunting, selling their house and many other crucial aspects of life. As a result of the expensive cost but extensive usage of cigarettes, smokers may find themselves being turned away by companies for a job; this means they may not have enough money to pay for housing. Then they are sometimes on benefits and council housing, gaining councils support and money for something that they themselves put themselves into. This is wrong. Are you aware that a single cigarette contains 400 chemicals and over 4000 toxic substances? Some of these include: nicotine, paint, insect repellent, even toilet cleaner! Just imagine all of this inside your body. A lovely thought isn’t it? Everyone is coming to realise the consequences behind smoking; many learn the hard way when they fall ill with life-threatening diseases, pneumonia, heart disease, bronchitis and several cancers to name a few.
Some smokers would argue that anyone could be at risk of these life threatening diseases, but majority of cases it isn’t down to the non-smokers actions; unlike smokers placing themselves in this position and expect to be treated using money from the public’s taxes, having us pay for preventable problems. We shouldn’t be the ones to pay for their idiocy! Today, tobacco consumption is recognised as the UK’s single greatest cause of preventable illness and early death, with an estimated 102,000 people dying in 2009 from smoking-related diseases, including cancers. We want to help smokers realise that these life-threatening diseases can and will cause early death, but if smoking is made illegal, all of this trauma and trouble would be taken away. In addition, smoking should be made illegal because it is a detrimental and addicting drug, just like many that everyone knows are deadly and criminal to take.
Methamphetamine and crack are some of the most dangerous drugs that would spring to mind, but what many people do not know is Nicotine is just as harmful, if not worse. According to a chart in Health and Wellness, experts rate on how easy it is to become addicted and how difficult it is to quit. Using various drugs, 100 is the highest addiction potential. Rated top on the chart for being most addictive was Nicotine, with a horrendously addictive score of 100, while Methamphetamine (smoked) had a score of 96, following was Crack with a score of 94. Out of the top three, nicotine, attaining the maximum score for addiction potential, is the only one that is still legal. This is unacceptable. Making cigarettes adds stress on the environment. In one hour companies that make them use around four miles of paper for rolling and packaging of the cigarettes. Just to produce 300 cigarettes one tree is being wasted.
This paper could be used to provide the less fortunate children of the world with school books and stationary, to give them a future, a chance in life. Instead it is being used to provide smokers with their deadly craving, something that will give them an end to life, if anything. After people throw their finished cigarette on the ground, it will take about 25 years to decompose. The chemical wastes from the companies are also dumped into the soil, which poison it. Smoking is not only killing people, it is killing the environment too. Smoking doesn’t just increase the risk of many health problems; it also severely affects the health of innocent people in the presence of smoke. Many people have taken the right choice of not smoking, but they are exposed to it through second hand smoke in the atmosphere. Passive smoking, as it is known, can affect people of all ages, particularly children who have relatives who smoke.
When someone smokes a cigarette, the toxic smoke from the burning tip is released into the atmosphere, along with the smoke they breathe out. Since the toxins in second-hand smoke aren’t filtered, like they were when inhaled from the cigarette, it’s even worse to breathe second-hand smoke than smoke yourself. This smoke can stay in the air for up to two and a half hours even with a window open. Did you know that over 80% of cigarette smoke is near to invisible? Frequent exposure can significantly increase risks of life-threatening diseases such as lung cancer and coronary heart disease, which results in heart attacks, heart failure and more chance of strokes. In these cases, victims are usually admitted to NHS services which are funded by taxes; if smokers weren’t smoking in the first instance then these innocent people wouldn’t have to be in hospital, so our money would be spent on something to help develop the country, not fix something that isn’t helping anyone, smoking.
How would you feel if you had an allergy like asthma, and because of smokers around you this allergy was triggered? This is another example of how just by smoking a cigarette, smokers are being narcissistic to people who have made the right decision. In some situations, they are also putting family members and children at risk of serious illness. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) is a life-threatening disease that a young baby could be at risk of if they breath in second-hand smoke, it is twice as likely in babies whose mothers smoke. Why would anyone want to risk ending their own child’s life? It is a proven fact that children who grow up with a parent or family member who smokes are three times as likely to start smoking themselves, why risk it?
Instead we should make smoking illegal, and prevent the new generation even thinking about starting this awful habit. In 2007, smoking in public places, such as bars, restaurants and workplaces, was made illegal in an attempt to protect non-smokers from the health risks associated with passive smoking. This is a start, but it makes more sense to eliminate the killer completely, doesn’t it? To conclude, there is no doubt that the effects of smoking are life-threatening and seriously affect many people. The government should see this displeasure and act on it, despite smoker’s arguing that they have a right to smoke. They don’t. It should be what is considered best for the majority of people’s welfare, which is for smoking to be banned. Even for the smoker’s benefits. If smoking became illegal, I believe the world would be healthier and happier. Isn’t that what all of you want?
Courtney from Study Moose
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