Think to yourself for a second. Why is smoking illegal in our society today? The effects on smoking on a person are so awful and extreme, that there really is no reason it should be legal for anyone. Lung disease, cancers, heart disease, and Emphysema are just some of the thousands of harmful effects of smoking. What astonishes me is why anyone would smoke if they know how it destroys their body, and why people are keeping it legal to use in the first place.
Many people say that smoking should not be illegal. Maybe for the reasons that it’s a personal freedom versus public health issue or since smoking is very addictive and people become dependent on it. But if what only comes out of smoking is pleasure, shouldn’t the government put health over pleasure?
One cigarette contains over 4,000 toxic chemicals which enter your body as poisons. Since the toxins in second-hand smoke aren't filtered yet, like they were when inhaled from the cigarette, it’s even worse to breathe second-hand smoke. Second-hand smoke kills about eight adults a day from lung cancer and 35,000 deaths per year from heart disease. It is also tied to 300,000 cases of bronchitis and pneumonia each year. Such a little thing can cause so many problems for the smoker and the people around them. But not only does this affect people’s health, but also is bad for our environment.
Making cigarettes adds stress on the environment. In one hour companies that make cigarettes use almost four miles of paper for rolling and packaging of the cigarettes. Just to produce 300 cigarettes one tree is being wasted. Energy and water is also being wasted when making cigarettes. After people throw their finished cigarette on the ground, it will take about 25-26 years to decompose. The chemical wastes from the companies are also dumped into the soil, which is very bad for our environment. Pollution and smoking causes negative environmental effects to our world. But we all do have a choice.
Everyone has the freedom to choice to be or not be a smoker and what happens in public is subject to public judgment. Smoking is a perfect example of this. Smoking causes unnecessary harm to others that have made the choice not to smoke. The government should have the right to put limits on where others are being harmed. This takes away the rights stated in the ninth amendment in the Constitution. So if the United Stated banned smoking, wouldn't it make all of this easier to handle? I believe that question has only one simple answer. Make smoking illegal.
“Watch your actions, for they become habits. Watch your habits, for they become character.” I believe this quote is totally true. It’s saying that if you act a certain way it will most likely become a habit. Then your habit will just become another part of you and will turn into normal daily activities. The one time you try smoking may cause many regrets for years to come. These will become difficult to overcome later in life. If smoking becomes a habit, it is likely to become part of your character.
Nicotine is the element in the cigarette that causes the strong addiction. More than thirteen million smokers try to quit each year, but less than five percent of those who attempt it actually do. A nicotine addiction is harder to beat than most people realize. Nicotine from smoking changes the structure and function of your brain. When the brain stops getting the nicotine it's used to, you begin feeling strong withdrawal cravings. You think you want a cigarette when, actually, your brain wants nicotine. Each puff on a cigarette sends nicotine to the brain within ten seconds. So we have another puff and another. Soon, the brain's chemical structure actually changes. It becomes hooked into wanting more and more nicotine to make the effects last. Then without even knowing it, you are addicted.
So the next time you are about to smoke a single cigarette, remember all of the lives, other than yours, that you are affecting. If smoking became illegal, I believe the world would be safer, healthier and happier. And isn't that what all of you want?
Together as a society we can make a change. All we need is teamwork and a strong voice to put an end to smoking. There are four words you can say, together, “We can do it!”
en españolFumar es una pésima idea
Smoking is one of the worst things you can do to your body. Yet every single day, about 3,200 kids and teens start smoking.
Most middle school students don't smoke — only about 1 in 50 does. And most high school students don't smoke either — about 9 in 100 do.
But why do those who smoke ever begin?
There's more than just one answer. Some kids may start smoking just because they're curious. Others may like the idea of doing something dangerous — something grownups don't want them to do. Still others might know lots of people who smoke and they might think it's a way to act or look like an adult.
Fortunately, fewer people are starting smoking than a few years ago. Maybe that's because more and more people have learned that smoking and tobacco use can cause cancer and heart disease.
But sometimes kids can't really think that far into the future to worry about an illness they might not get for many years.
So let's talk about the problems that might affect kids more quickly:
- bad breath
- yellow teeth
- smelly clothes
- more colds and coughs
- difficulty keeping up with friends when playing sports
- empty wallet — cigarettes and tobacco products are very expensive!
Let's find out more about cigarettes and tobacco.
What Are Smoking and Smokeless Tobacco?
Tobacco (say: tuh-BA-ko) is a plant that can be smoked in cigarettes, pipes, or cigars. It's the same plant that's in smokeless tobacco, known as dip, chew, snuff, spit, or chewing tobacco. Smokeless tobacco is not lit or inhaled like tobacco in cigarettes, pipes, and cigars. Instead, smokeless tobacco is put between the lip and gum and sucked on inside the mouth.
Tobacco contains nicotine (say: NIH-kuh-teen), a chemical that causes a tingly or pleasant feeling — but that feeling only lasts for a little while. Nicotine is also addictive (say: uh-DIK-tiv). That means that if you start to use nicotine, your body and mind will become so used to it that you'll need to have it just to feel OK.
Anyone who starts smoking could become addicted to it. If you're addicted to something, it's very hard to stop doing it, even if you want to. Some kids get addicted right away. And adults are often addicted, which is why so many of them have a hard time quitting smoking.
Why Is It So Bad for You?
Cigarettes and smokeless tobacco kill hundreds of thousands of Americans every year. In fact, each day 1300 people die from smoking alone.
The nicotine and other poisonous chemicals in tobacco cause lots of diseases, like heart problems and some kinds of cancer. If you smoke, you hurt your lungs and heart each time you light up. It also can make it more difficult for blood to move around in the body, so smokers may feel tired and cranky. The longer you smoke, the worse the damage becomes.
The Other Cost of Smoking
Using tobacco eats up a lot of money, too. A pack of cigarettes costs about $6, on average. That means, even if you buy just one pack a week, you'll spend $312 in a year. Some people smoke a pack a day, which adds up to $2,190! That's a lot of computer games and clothes you could buy instead.
What's It Like?
Usually, people don't like smoking or chewing tobacco at first. Your body is smart, and it knows when it's being poisoned. When people try smoking for the first time, they often cough a lot and feel pain or burning in their throat and lungs. This is your lungs' way of trying to protect you and tell you to keep them smoke free.
Also, many people say that they feel sick to their stomachs or even throw up. If someone accidentally swallows chewing tobacco, they may be sick for hours. Yuck.
What if My Friend Smokes?
If you have friends who smoke or use tobacco, you can help them by encouraging them to quit. Here are some reasons you can mention:
- It will hurt their health.
- It will make their breath stinky.
- It will turn their teeth yellow.
- It will give them less endurance when running or playing sports.
- It's expensive.
- It's illegal to buy cigarettes when you're underage.
If you think it will help, you could print out articles like this one to give to a friend who smokes. He or she may be interested in learning more about the dangers of smoking.
But people don't like to hear that they're doing something wrong, so your pal also could be a little angry. If that happens, don't push it too much. In time, your friend may realize you are right.
In the meantime, it could help to talk with a parent or a school counselor if you're worried about your friend. When your friend is ready, a grownup can help him or her quit for good. If your friend decides to quit, lend your support. You might say it's time to kick some butts!