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Cigarette Smoking as a Public Health Hazard Essay

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The Production and Sale of Cigarettes should be illegal and completely banned. The Surgeon General warns; Tobacco usage can be hazardous to your health. It is a drug equal to, if not more harmful than alcohol and some prescription drugs. If you don’t think smoking is addictive, ask someone who has tried quitting. As far back as the early 1960s, the connection between smoking and lung disease/cancer was made, and although smoking continued to be glamorized by many Hollywood actors and actresses, it became known that smoking also caused numerous health risks.

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In the 1960’s CBS Television sold itself to advertisers by highlighting their ability to reach a broad audience and the cigarette industry provided a large percentage of the networks’ revenue. Yet studies continued to show breathing smoke from other people’s people cigarettes or chewing tobacco products, were proven to be just as harmful to one’s health, as it would be if the person smoked themselves. Not only is smoking a health risk to the person who chooses to do it, second-hand smoke affects millions of people in the U.S., causing significant diseases and sometimes even death.

Manufacturers have hidden hide the real consequences of cigarette smoking for years, even though they knew it was compromising the health of the general public, which includes including men, women and children who had never smoked a single cigarette. The average teenager saw at least 26 cigarette ads each week and more than 100 ads per month, while children with chronic diseases such as asthma continued to suffer as a result of being exposed to involuntary secondhand smoke. Cigarette smoking can be attributed to Diabetes, Lung Cancer, Blindness, Kidney Failure, Problems with pregnancy in women including the inability to conceive, Birth Defects, High Blood Pressure, Respiratory Diseases and many more serious illnesses.

Some adults suffer suffered from medical conditions as a direct result of the exposure to cigarette and cigar smoke in public places, family gatherings or their place of employment. Cigarette smokers, manufacturers, and advertising companies faced severe criticism and the Surgeon General began to prepare and report with significant findings on the effects of smoking. Unfortunately, it was too late for medical assistance or intervention for many. By then, medical conditions appeared and some were too advanced or terminal, making treatment impossible.

The American Cancer Society encourages smokers to quit smoking on the third Thursday of November each year, this annual intervention/event is known as the Great American Smokeout. The goal of this event is to provide smokers with a wealth of information related to the health risks of smoking and to help them understand that quitting is the first step in becoming healthier. Materials and toolkits are provided nationally to those interested in hosting events aimed at helping Americans make healthy choices related to quitting.
Some argue that electronic cigarettes, also known as E-Cigarettes are safer to use. They are sold online and come in a variety of flavors. E-Cigarettes are thought to be cool, and are a huge attraction to youth, as there is no age requirement to purchase them then. However, however, before smokers choose e-cigarettes there are several facts they should know. These cigarettes contain nicotine, a highly addictive drug and are still considered to be a huge health risk. E-cigarettes are an unregulated tobacco product with more than 500 brands and more than 7,000 flavors yet they have not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). E-cigarettes emit aerosol (vapor) which means its users inhale/exhale carcinogens, such as formaldehyde.

Today, the dangers of smoking are very well-documented; in fact, smoking has been banned in many public places including restaurants, places of employment and professional buildings. Abuse of tobacco combined with alcohol and illicit drugs, costs our country over $600 billion dollars in health-care annually, not to mention what it cost in loss of productivity due to health-related issues and physical challenges. Diseases caused by smoking harm almost every organ in the human body. It is the cause of 1 in 5 deaths in the United States alone, yet it is estimated that more than 42 million Americans continue to smoke.


Judy Kruger et. Al., “Perceptions of Harm from Second Hand Smoke Exposure Among US Adults”, Tobacco Induced Diseases, Feb. 2, 2016 Vol. 14 Issue 13, http://eds.b.ebscohost.com.rlib.pace.edu/eds/detail/detail?vid=5&sid=3e7714d0-37a9-4672-8c8e-014de0082732%40sessionmgr104&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ%3d%3d#AN=edsgcl.442139813&db=edsgaoRichard W. Pollay, “Exposure of US Youth to Cigarettes Television Advertising in the 1960’s” Tobacco Control, June 1994, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 130-133, 4p, http://eds.b.ebscohost.com.rlib.pace.edu/eds/detail/detail?vid=9&sid=3e7714d0-37a9-4672-8c8e-014de0082732%40sessionmgr104&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ%3d%3d#AN=67205935&db=edbArden Pope III el. al., “Lung Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality Associated with Ambient Air Pollution and Cigarette Smoke: Shape of the Exposure-Response Relationships”, National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, Environmental Health Perspectives, 2011, Vol. 119(11), pp. 1616-1621, http://eds.b.ebscohost.com.rlib.pace.edu/eds/detail/detail?vid=24&sid=3e7714d0-37a9-4672-8c8e-014de0082732%40sessionmgr104&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ%3d%3d#AN=edsjsr.41263267&db=edsjsrProctor RN, “Why Ban the Sale of Cigarettes? The Case for Abolition”, Tobacco Control, May 2013, Vol. 22, Suppl. 1, pp. i27-30, http://eds.b.ebscohost.com.rlib.pace.edu/eds/detail/detail?vid=26&sid=3e7714d0-37a9-4672-8c8e-014de0082732%40sessionmgr104&bdata=JnNpdGU9ZWRzLWxpdmUmc2NvcGU9c2l0ZQ%3d%3d#AN=23591501&db=cmedm
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