To smoke or not to smoke

There are many reasons why smoking should be banned. With every lit cigarette, there are many health risks. Smoking affects not only smoker’s lungs, but also those around you, who are unconsciously, passive smoking. If you are stood around smokers quite often, you are increasing your risk of getting lung cancer. A smoker inhales the smoke through a filter, but the public are inhaling the smoke, from the end of the cigarette, which does a lot of damage to the lungs.

There isn’t much choice for members of the public to avoid inhaling this dangerous smoke, except for non-smoking seating in restaurants, shopping centres, public transport, and other indoor public services. Shouldn’t it be banned altogether? Passive smoking is harmful to the health of adults and increasingly, children, who run a higher risk of developing lung problems. Passive smoking carries a one and a half relative risk of developing lung cancer, compared to non-smokers. There are also increased risks of heart attack.

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Would you want to risk your children developing cancer or another life threatening disease? However, a person could be stood at a bus stop, smoking. This would affect all the people who would be standing there. Not only will the smoker be jeopardising his own health; he would be harming the rest of the public, who are in a close range to him. A person stood at the same stop has no right to tell the smoker to put his cigarette out, or move away from them, because harming the public’s health in this form is legal in Britain.

Wouldn’t you like to be able to protect your own health? Don’t you agree that you should have this right? In Britain, there are many people who suffer from lung cancer, and smokers have the chance to choose if they want to go down this road. But many smokers are addicted to cigarettes, because of the nicotine inside them. This makes it much harder to stop smoking, if they try to quit. Won’t banning cigarettes make it easier for addicts to quit, as it would be harder to get hold of cigarettes?

Well this may be the case, but countless problems stand in the way of banning cigarettes, which follows. I have imagined the impact if the cigarette ban was introduced. There are about 12 million adult cigarette smokers in Great Britain and another 3 million who smoke pipes and/or cigars. This means over a fifth of adults in Britain smoke, and it would incredibly disgruntle them if smoking was banned. They would almost definitely cause a lot of difficulty, and object to the ban strongly.

Also people who are trying to give up smoking, gradually cutting down on cigarettes each day, would be demoralised at their efforts, and wouldn’t be able to cope going from 20 plus cigarettes a day to nothing. There are about 11 million ex-smokers in Britain, and I’m sure most of them managed to quit, by cutting down smoking gradually. The police would have a large problem on their hands if tobacco was banned, because the current drugs situation in Britain is bad enough as it is, without another popular drug against the law.

Without a doubt their will be a massive demand for cigarettes after a ban would be introduced, and many people would lower themselves to the limits of smuggling tobacco into the country, or growing it themselves. This would make a large problem for the police, as most of the 15 million smokers in Britain would be illegally smoking tobacco. The police force would not be able to seize all the tobacco. I know this because the police haven’t managed to stop the amount of cannabis or ecstasy in the country, so I very much doubt they would be able to cope with the tobacco ban.

The third main problem would be the economy. There are hundreds of thousands of people working in the cigarette industry, and many people’s future depends on it. Cigarette companies would have to shut down, causing a massive loss in immediate profit, and the cigarette company itself would have to make all its employees redundant. They would have to pay their employees a certain sum of money, if they are made redundant. Also the company would lose whatever value it had. Without a doubt the companies themselves would suffer most, and many would end up bankrupt.

Many jobs would be lost, and the unemployment figures in Britain would increase significantly. These unemployed people would probably claim benefits, and this would cause the tax rate to increase. Would you like an increase in tax, because of a ban on tobacco? To summarise the problems, it seems like the government would suffer most. As they would introduce the ban, no less than 15 million people would be aggravated at this. Then the cigarette companies would be disgruntled, as they would have to pay out to the employees, and they would lose their business.

The employees would be infuriated at loosing their jobs, and would claim unemployment benefits. The benefits would cause a tax increase, and the public would have to pay the extra tax. They wouldn’t be too happy either. It seems like the whole country would oppose to the ban, and maybe go on strike, and cause an economical standstill. The government would be left with the unfortunate role of sorting the problems they created themselves. From my view I think that smoking is very unhealthy and carries many health and addiction risks, but it shouldn’t be illegalised.

Essentially because banning tobacco comes with many consequences, which I have stated. It should be people’s own choice if they wish to jeopardise their health. Research shows that the percentage of people smoking has fell, and continues to fall, so maybe in the future tobacco wouldn’t need to be banned, as everyone will eventually quit. I feel that more encouragement should be given to people, who aim to quit, and health affects of smoking should be educated to everyone.