Over the decades, the debate about making the production and sales of tobacco illegal in the world has gotten more complicated. All over the world, tobacco smoking is one of the significant threats to human health. Recently, research showed that cigarettes cause over 7 million deaths in the world per year. The WHO shows that 1.2 million non-smokers are exposed to smoke hence results in respiratory complications that lead to death (Martin et al. 23). Tobacco is the most commonly abused drug because its products are cheap, hence affordable to many people. People in all three social classes use tobacco products. Whereas many people argue that many forms of tobacco are not harmful, the WHO claims that all tobacco forms are detrimental to human beings and nature. There exists a wide range of tobacco products such as cigarette smoking, waterpipe tobacco, bidis, roll-your-own tobacco, and smokeless tobacco products. A study shows that the most common tobacco forms are cigarette smoking and smokeless tobacco products (Martin et al. 15).
Tobacco usage is common in developing countries that consist of many middle and low-income persons. Besides, tobacco is a leading factor in poverty in developing countries as the money that was to be used to buy basic needs like clothing is converted to purchase tobacco. Cigarette smoking and smokeless tobacco products induce people to high chance of suffering from cancer. The two forms contain cancer, causing toxins that cause different types of cancers of the throat, mouth, lip, head, esophagus, and neck cancer. However, the trade organizations argue that tobacco production and selling should not be banned as it employs people hence a source of income to many families. The big question should be: Do the risks and hazards of tobacco production, and selling overwhelm tobacco production benefits? Tobacco production causes more harm than benefits to the users; hence it should be made illegal.
REASONS AS TO WHY TOBACCO TRADE SHOULD BE PERMISSIBLE
Over the centuries, there has been a debate on why we should keep tobacco permissible in all countries. Despite alcohol being harmful to human beings and nature, the production and selling of tobacco products worldwide are legal highly profitable, and accessible. Many people, mostly in developing countries and Africa, are engaging themselves in tobacco production. Tobacco production and selling are sources of income for many families who plant tobacco and sell the products to the companies that make different forms of tobacco products in the market. Many families in the low and middle classes depend wholly on the tobacco trade, and a ban on tobacco products would push the families to extreme poverty that might force them to engage in crimes. The companies that make different forms of tobacco, such as cigarettes, also offer job opportunities. Besides, a recent study showed that most of these companies in developing countries provide adequate salaries to the employees (Du Preez 16).
Moreover, the companies offer excellent and high salaries to both the graduates and casuals. A ban on tobacco production and selling worldwide would subject many families to poverty. Besides, many people argue that the ban would increase the unemployment rate in many countries. High unemployment rates would affect the economics of many developing countries adversely.
Another argument for not making tobacco illegal is that it is a source of revenue for many countries. Research conducted in Canada in 2013 showed that the revenue collected from tobacco selling tax was $2.81 billion. Tobacco production boosts economic development though it cannot match the direct and indirect effects it has to the country. The $2.81 billion revenue was 1% greater than Canada's government spending (van Mourik et al. 16). Admittedly, 1% of government spending is little for a substance that causes risks of different cancer and death. The government's use of exercise tax on tobacco to discourage or control tobacco use is not the best approach to eliminating tobacco use. Though we should applaud the government's measures to control the rate of tobacco usage, the direct and direct costs of chronic respiratory diseases, lung cancer, and asthma caused by tobacco smoking are high compared to the revenue collected in the different countries. Lastly, the trade-off abolition is the best approach to curb the adverse effects it causes in society.
Besides, people argue that governments should not dictate the vices that the citizens commit. The argument is fair though the harmful effects of tobacco smoking and usage are high and a burden to both the individuals and the governments. In tobacco selling, there is no moderation on the adverse effects it has on human health. However, though governments are putting different measures to curb or reduce tobacco products' usage, governments need to ban the products' production and selling.
REASONS FOR ABOLITION OF THE TOBACCO TRADE
A reason for the ban on tobacco is that it remains the deadliest artifact in the world. Smoking tobacco is not luxurious, it only harms human health and contributes positively to global warming. A recent study showed that in a year, more than 7 million people die due to smoking. Many of the deaths result due to cancer, asthma, and chronic respiratory diseases. The cost incurred by the governments to cure these diseases is more than the revenues the governments collect from tobacco selling. In the 12th century, the deaths of smoking were 100 million, but in this century, more than 250 million people have died of tobacco smoking (Yadav and Dabar 19).
Secondly, tobacco production and selling should be banned because tobacco selling is highly addictive. Besides, cigarette smoking is defective as it kills most of its long-term consumers unreasonably. The nicotine in cigarettes is high and very dangerous, and the governments have put measures to lower it though it remains harmful. The addictive component of nicotine makes the users smoke cigarettes, often posing a more human threat. The users also spend a lot of their income on purchasing tobacco products because they are addicted and waste the money that they could use to buy necessary facilities. Cigarettes are also inhalable. The current high rates of cancer are due to the production of low pH flue-cured tobacco in cigarettes. The inhalation of the smoke of cigarettes to the deep parts of the lungs causes cancer. The chances of treating lung cancer are few; hence it is a threat to human life.
Thirdly, tobacco production and selling abolition are the best approaches because tobacco selling poses a financial burden to both the governments and the individuals. The cost of treating diseases caused by tobacco products is enormous; hence it drains the government's budget. The vast amount of money that the government allocates to health should provide other essential services. There is also a loss of finance due to the diminished labor productivity in the market. The individuals suffering from these diseases connected to tobacco products are also forced to pay for medical services. Tobacco selling is a significant threat to the financial stability of both governments and individuals.
Moreover, the tobacco industry has downplayed the efforts of criticizing the harmful effects of tobacco products. The tobacco industry has powerfully led to decay in the research on tobacco products' impact and benefits. Besides, The big tobacco production companies have paid the media society to ensure that they never cover tobacco smoking's side effects. The tobacco industry has also influenced institutions' operations that protect people's health, such as the American Medical Association.
Lastly, the primary reason for abolishing tobacco production and selling is that the users do not like their habits. For instance, smokers do not like smoking and consider smoking as an unethical act in society. Many smokers were introduced to smoking by their peers and did not consider tobacco as a recreational drug. Many of the users of tobacco wish that they could quit smoking, but the addiction restricts them. The addiction levels of smoking are higher than those of other drugs such as marijuana and alcohol. Research shows that 80% of smokers become addicted compared to 11% of those who drink alcohol (Li et al. 21). The fact that many smokers dislike their habits acts as the first reason for the abolition of tobacco production and selling.
In conclusion, the production and selling of tobacco worldwide is not only legal but also highly accessible. Even though many people think that the strict government measures on the amount of nicotine in tobacco products would reduce the harm the tobacco products cause to users, this is not the best approach as non-smokers will also be victims of smoking. The high taxes on tobacco products will also reduce tobacco products consumption but will not do away with the harmful effects. The debate should not be on how to reduce tobacco product use, but it should focus on enhancing the safety and health of the people. The tobacco's production and selling harm is more than the benefits that the users obtain. Worldwide, teenagers have been abusing this drug, which has led to high rates of student dropouts. The tobacco products are cheap, hence affordable to many teenagers. The only best approach to ensure that tobacco users' health is protected is abolishing tobacco production and sales.
Du Preez, C. (2017). Declining tobacco production: analysing key drivers of change (Doctoral dissertation, University of Pretoria).
Li, Judy, Rhiannon Newcombe, and Darren Walton. "Responses towards additional tobacco control measures: data from a population-based survey of New Zealand adults." The New Zealand Medical Journal (Online) 129.1428 (2016): 87.
Martin, G., K. Steyn, and Derek Yach. "Beliefs about smoking and health and attitudes toward tobacco control measures." SOUTH AFRICAN MEDICAL JOURNAL-CAPE TOWN-MEDICAL ASSOCIATION OF SOUTH AFRICA- 82 (1992): 241-241.
van Mourik, Dirk-Jan A., et al. "Quasi-experimentally examining the impact of introducing tobacco pictorial health warnings: Findings from the International Tobacco Control (ITC) 4C and Netherlands surveys in the Netherlands, Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, and the United States." Drug and Alcohol Dependence 207 (2020): 107818.
Yadav, Vikas, and Deepti Dabar. "A community-based cross-sectional study on the knowledge of harmful effects of tobacco consumption and tobacco control laws among male youths in a resettlement colony of Delhi." Medical Journal of Dr. DY Patil Vidyapeeth 13.4 (2020): 394.
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