A Persuasive Essay On Smoking

Title: The effects of smoking have been exaggerated

In my essay I explain the effects of smoking and put forward the theory that the effects of smoking have been exaggerated and link this to the scientific evidence that no deaths have ever occurred because of second-hand smoke.

The effects of smoking have been exaggerated because lobby groups want smoking to be banned completely. They wish to impose their will on the nation and are achieving this goal through outright lies and scare tactics. They are using the fears of the American public to push their agenda and it is working.

Smoking tobacco does have negative effects and does increase the chances of illness, but over eating kills more people in America than smoking ever has since its invention, and yet there are not bans on fatty foods. People are not told to eat fatty foods outside and people are happy to give them free healthcare and give them disabled benefits if they are morbidly obese.

There are too many smokers in this world to assume that it is a truly deadly habit. If this were the case, then there would not be so many people in their late 80s that have smoked all their lives. People that smoke would surely die considerably early and yet a massive amount of people live well into their 80s despite spending most of their life smoking.

There has never been any real and scientifically proven evidence that second hand smoking kills people. Cases of lung cancer that are supposedly linked to second-hand smoke seem to have left out the harmful effects of other smoke in our atmosphere, airborne toxins, vehicle fumes, asbestos, unsanitary conditions, mold spores, smog and air pollution. People jump to the conclusion that lung cancer is caused by smoking–when lung cancer may strike anyone. Plus, lung cancer has hundreds of causes, many of which are in our atmosphere and homes right now, so to assume that lung cancer is due to second hand smoke is specious at best–and outright moronic at worst.

Anti-smoking groups have done such a good job at scaring the general public that smokers are now discriminated against in a massive way. They are made to sit outside and smoke instead of having rooms made for smoking, and they are treated with disdain by doctors and people in our society. Can you imagine the uproar if tomorrow we started having African American people sitting outside instead of inside and if they were treated with disdain by doctors and people in our society?

Conclusion

There is no link between secondhand smoke and deadly disease. Assuming that secondhand smoke causes lung cancer is holding back medical progress. They are blurring the issue and lowering the amount of research that goes into the harmful effects of other smoke in our atmosphere, airborne toxins, vehicle fumes, asbestos, unsanitary conditions, mold spores, smog and air pollution. One likes to assume that people are reasonable, but one cannot ignore empirical evidence. If lobby groups are going to claim that smoking is a death sentence, then they need to explain how so many people are able to smoke without ever getting ill and are able to smoke and live into and past the age of 80.

Along with such significant social problems, such as alcoholism, STDs, and racism, smoking cigarettes remains in the number of the most significant ones. Public attention to the problem of smoking cigarettes remains significant; in addition, smoking has undergone radical controlling measures, such as bans from numerous healthcare and governmental organizations. However, despite the seeming rationality standing behind these measures, smoking bans are in fact much less fair than it is usually considered.

To start with, a smoking ban is a manifestation of social injustice in its pure form. Even though smoking has become less popular in the recent decade, there still lives a large amount of smokers of all ages whose rights are infringed upon by such measures. In fact, we are talking about segregation based on a lifestyle criteria (UnhealthyNationFS). Smoking is harmful and unpleasant for those who do not smoke, but aggressively denying people the rights to their habits is unacceptable due to several reasons.

Smoking remains a legal activity, and tobacco is a legal substance. Unlike alcohol, smoking tobacco does not make people behave inadequately, and does not pose immediate danger to the health of a smoker or people around them—unlike a drunk person who can act aggressively or insulting towards others. However, smokers often have to leave an establishment when they spend time to smoke a cigarette (regardless of the weather conditions, by the way), whereas drunk people are allowed to stay inside. Besides, rather often, establishments today have no separate rooms for smokers and non-smokers, so smokers often have to either accept the rules, or leave. It is strange democratic societies do not compromise in these circumstances (UnhealthyNationFS).

Moreover, smokers today have no right to smoke in a number of other public places, such as beaches, public transport stops, or parks. In fact, smokers have to deal with zero tolerance and direct tyranny of the non-smoking majority. This is undemocratic; for instance, in the United Kingdom, where a total ban has been enabled, about 68% of people opposed to such a legislative measure, as the British Office for National Statistics reported (Spiked). However, despite such opposition, the total ban was imposed anyways, since the influence of lobbying groups who were against smoking was strong. Similar situations can often be observed in the United States.

Even though smoking remains a dangerous and harmful habit, smokers are the same people as non-smokers, and have the same rights. However, since smoking bans started to be imposed, it seems smokers face the equivalent of segregation based on lifestyle criteria. Smoking remains a legal occupation, and tobacco is a legal substance that does not cause an individual to act violently or insulting—unlike the consumption of alcohol. However, smokers face rights infringement more often than those who abuse alcohol. In addition, smoking bans are sometimes imposed in an anti-democratic way, as it has happened in Great Britain, where a total ban had been imposed regardless of significant opposition. If lobbyists can enforce total bans despite popular opinion, what else can be banned simply because wealthy individuals yearn for their interests to be enacted?

References
Jackson, Joe. “A Dozen Reasons to Stub Out the Smoking Ban.” Spiked. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. <http://www.spiked-online.com/newsite/article/9278#.UzGYk2ZNo6I>.

Madison, Louis. “Healthy but Unfair.” UnhealthyNationFS. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 Mar. 2014. <http://www.unhealthynationfakescience.oeg/madis/blog/1771>.

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