Tobacco is the world’s most prevalent plant used for smoking. It also happens to be one of the most significant preventable causes of death and a powerful industry with considerable economic interests. Consequently, banning or restricting tobacco sales would benefit public health and hurt the economy, but the health outcomes overshadow the economic ones, which is why tobacco sales should be subjected to stricter legal regulations.
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The primary argument against banning tobacco sales is an economic one. The tobacco industry is powerful and known for lobbying its interests aggressively, especially when under a threat of product bans (Yang & Glantz, 2018). It also means that the industry employs a considerable number of people, and banning tobacco will likely impact them negatively or even cause them to lose their jobs.
The main reasons to ban tobacco sales revolve around public health. Smoking tobacco contributes to numerous diseases, including lung cancer, and cigarettes alone are responsible for approximately six million deaths annually (Li, 2018). Apart from that, public opinion is open to the idea, especially when it comes to protecting children from smoking (Kuijpers et al., 2018). Thus, both medical considerations and the perception of the problem present arguments for stopping tobacco sales.
As one can see, there are valid arguments both for and against banning tobacco sales. When discussing this matter, one should weigh the health outcomes against the potential economic impact. However, people generally perceive health as a greater value than money. Additionally, while it is possible to find a new job after losing one in the tobacco industry, nothing can undo lung cancer. Considering this, the argument for banning tobacco sales seems more convincing than the one against.
To summarize, tobacco sales should be banned if one seeks to promote public health. Tobacco smoking causes many medical conditions, and public opinion accepts the necessity to do something with it. While the measure will have an adverse economic impact, health and life are still greater values than money.
- Juijpers, T. J., Willemsen, M. C., & Kunst, A. E. (2018). Public support for tobacco control policies: The role of the protection of children against tobacco. Health Policy, 122(8). 929-935.
- Li, M. D. (2018). Tobacco smoking addiction: Epidemiology, genetics, mechanisms, and treatment. Springer.
- Yand, Y. T., & Glantz, S. (2018).San Francisco voters end the sale of flavored tobacco products despite strong industry opposition. Annals of Internal Medicine, 169(10), 708-709.