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Should Cigarette Smoking Be Banned?

Cigarette smoking is an individual’s behavior, which is addictive when not controlled. Most smokers start the action during their adolescence during their leisure time. The law does not prohibit individuals from smoking cigarettes even though some regulations forbid it in public places. Cigarettes are one product of tobacco and are sold under different names and brands, but they have similar effects on smokers, nonsmokers, and the environment. Cigarette smoking should be banned because it causes various diseases, increases the healthcare system’s burden, hurts the economy, and pollutes the air and environment even though it may eventually lead to unemployment.

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Cigarette smoking causes various diseases like cancer to both smokers and nonsmokers, reducing their quality of life. Cigarette smokers inhale and release some smoke into the air exposing individuals to secondhand smoke. The common health conditions caused by cigarette smoking are cancer, lung diseases, and cardiovascular illnesses (Centers for Disease Control). These diseases are life-threatening and require appropriate treatments and management. Additionally, patients’ quality of life deteriorates because they cannot execute their daily activities effectively. Most people with sickness associated with either firsthand or secondhand smoke require support from their families and friends. Some treatments, like chemotherapy, can worsen the patients’ health condition. Further, patients diagnosed with cancer, heart disease, and other ailments associated with cigarette smoking and considered terminal can bring suffering from depression and anxiety disorders. Therefore, banning cigarette smoking can prevent diseases and enhance the quality of life.

The burden on the healthcare system increases because of cigarette smoking. The diseases associated with it lead to frequent visits to the emergency departments and hospitalization. Notably, smoking is a lifestyle chosen by some individuals, but with adverse health impacts on others. Additionally, all smoking-related ailments are preventable by quitting and regulating the behavior, which can lessen the healthcare system’s burden. According to Delaney, the healthcare system’s weight is through chronic care, acute services, specialist care, and community services (4). Healthcare resources can be constrained, inhibiting the effective provision of care to other patients. However, eliminating cigarette smoking can be an effective strategy for reducing the burden.

Smoking has negative impacts on the economy because of reduced productivity and more resources directed towards health. The diseases associated with cigarette smoking lead to adverse health effects for the patients, making them unable to work effectively. They spend considerable time seeking treatment services or being admitted to hospitals for close monitoring. Consequently, their contribution to the economy, as well as earnings, decreases significantly. Equally, some of the patients may be unable to work and even take care of themselves, requiring a family member to ensure that they eat, take medication, and clean themselves. The person taking care of the patients may be forced to quit their job or leave a business, hurting their input to the economy. Conversely, the illnesses cause governments to direct more resources to the healthcare system to fulfill their mandate of guaranteeing all citizens’ well-being. The resources would otherwise be channeled to other developmental projects like enhancing infrastructure and purchasing medicines and equipment to treat and control non-preventable sicknesses. Indeed, cigarette smoking slows economic development and increases the dependency ratio.

Moreover, smoking causes air and environmental pollution, which affects all living beings. Notably, clear air is one of the necessities needed by humans to live. However, the smoke released by consumers of all tobacco products contaminates the air, reducing its quality and increasing risks of respiratory health conditions (World Health Organization 15). Cigarette butts discarded by consumers litter towns and residential areas, reducing the environment’s quality where people live, work, and transact businesses. Butts have numerous harmful chemicals like arsenic and nicotine that reach when it rains. The reached chemicals deprive people of freshwater and are toxic to aquatic living creatures. Thus, it is necessary to ban cigarette smoking to guarantee the well-being of people and animals.

Nevertheless, banning smoking can hurt the economy by increasing the level of unemployment. The action would mean that all people working in the entire supply chain of cigarette production, ranging from farming to distribution, will become jobless. Therefore, the dependent ratio may increase, and disposable income and rate of investment decrease. However, job loss is insignificance compared to the adverse effects of cigarette smoking. According to the Center for Disease Control, approximately 16 million Americans have at least one disease associated with cigarette smoking. Additionally, exposure to secondhand smoke causes about 41,000 and 400 deaths annually among adult nonsmokers and infants respectively. World Health Organization adds that litters associated with tobacco products’ waste are between 340 and 680 million kilograms (24). Cigarette manufacturing companies and farmers can engage in alternative economic activities, which do not hurt the environment and people’s health. Therefore, cigarette smoking should be banned to lower the prevalence of cancer and other ailments and improve the environment’s quality.

Conclusively, the government should ban smoking because the behavior does more harm than good. It causes various adverse health conditions like cancer and heart disease, which reduces the quality of life. Additionally, it increases the burden on the healthcare system through a high rate of hospitalization. Moreover, it hurts the economy because of the reduced productivity of sick individuals. Further, it pollutes the air and the environment risking the well-being of all living beings.

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Works Cited

Centers for Disease Control. “Health Effects of Smoking and Tobacco Use.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2020, Web.

Delaney, Lori. “The Impact of Smoking on Healthcare Provision.” International Journal of Nursing & Clinical Practices, vol. 4, no. 257, 2017, pp. 1-4. Graphyonline Publications PVT, Ltd.

World Health Organization. “Tobacco and Its Environmental Impact: An Overview.” World Health Organization, 2017, Web.

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