Smoking A Look From Both Sides Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death: cigarettes and other tobacco products kill 420,000 American smokers and 53,000 nonsmokers every year. This toll exceeds the deaths resulting from alcohol abuse, AIDS, traffic accidents, homicides, and suicides combined. Nevertheless, the tobacco industrycontinues to promote and sell its products, unhampered by any meaningful government regulation except for mostly local restrictions designed to protect nonsmokers from the toxins in secondhand tobacco smoke. Following is a statement by Dr. Randolph D. Smoak Jr., member, board of trustees, American Medical Association which sums up my point of view on smoking: "Nicotine is a drug -- no ifs, ands or 'butts.' Cigarettes are nothing more than syringes for nicotine. The FDA should have the power to regulate tobacco just as it regulates cough syrup and nasal sprays. "Physicians are tired of treating the victims of smoking while the industry continues to weave these bizarre excuses. "We must ban smoking in public places, regulate cigarettes and eliminate cigarette advertising. Enough is enough. The time for action is now." To many Dr. Randolphs's proposed solution to smoking seems simple, just have the FDA regulate tobacco, make tobacco users responsible for their own health costs, or charge a two dollar a pack tax to make up for other costs imposed by tobacco. These suggestions may seem fair to many non-smokers, but is placing sanctions on smokers morally right? Is smoking a constituitonal right which should be respected? For non-smokers it may be hard to understand why people smoke even though they are aware of the health risks. Below is a link that gives some Phychological reasons why smokers smoke. Why Do We Smoke Cigarettes? This essay gives several different reasons why smokers smoke despite the knowledge that cigarettes kill. The essay explains that smoking is as much a psychological pleasure as it is physiological satisfaction. Some smokers claim that they get a sense of satisfaction from cigarettes that they cannot get from anything else. Dichter explains that the psychological pleasures of smoking can be traced to the universal desire for self-expression. For some, smoking helps them take a break from work whereas they might not without a cigarette. For others, smoking is a reward that they can give themselves. Most smokers smoke at certain points of the day: after breakfast to start the day, after meals, after or before daily events, and one at bedtime to end the day. Smoking makes the time go faster and to some people, a lit cigarette is like a companion. The smoke fascinates some and with others it makes them think, but for whatever reasons these simple pleasures are very strong. These simple pleasures are so strong that smokers are willing to give up their health for their pleasures. This essay is a product of a psychological survey although they gave no specifics on the survey. I think Dichter is a smoker and therefore feels obligated to explain to nonsmokers why smokers smoke even though cigarettes kill. Most non smokers may have tried a cigarette before and disliked the experience, and Dichter states that a taste for cigarettes must be acquired slowly. In my essay, I am trying to provide an objective argument on whether it is ethical to ban smoking. I feel that this insight into why smokers smoke and how much they enjoy this act is very relevant to my essay. This psychological background is very important when discussing rights. This paper gave good psychological information into the smokers psyche, and was very informative. Dichter, himself, identifies with many of the smokers interviewed giving a personal touch to this essay. Even though this site did not have any graphics or sound, it was very informational. The essay above gave insights into the pleasures of smoking and why smokers deserve these rights, but what about the rights of others? Children are especially effected by the passive smoke of their parents. Don't these children have a right to breath clean air just as much as somebody in a restaurant has? And as if this isn't bad enough, these children may be more influenced to start smoking themselves. Approximately 9 out of 10 people start smoking by the age of 19 and the tobacco companies know this. The link below is a report from the Surgeon General on preventing tobacco use among young people. Tobacco and Youth This report from the 1994 Surgeon General showed that nearly all smokers are hooked before they graduate from high school. This report also states that young people quickly become addicted to nicotine ;compared to adults, and they have as much, if not more, difficulty stopping smoking. Young people who's parents, or close friends smoke are more likely to smoke. Also children of smokers that are exposed to ETS (Environmental Tobacco Smoke) suffer more from bronchitis, allergies, asthma, and respiratory distress. Children are also targeted by tobacco companies. When Joe Camel was introduced between 1988 and 1991, Camel's markets of smokers under age 18 increased from 0.5% to 32.8%. This article gives and argument against smoking and its adverse effects on children. This sight was very plain, but the facts were laid out in an easy to read manner.   ;This site was very informative, but was also very dry. Bullets were used to make the point clear and stand out, and the facts were easily located. Several statistics were given and the authorities were cited. This report is very credible coming from the Surgeon General. This report will give my readers insight into the direct affects the tobacco has on youths and help them to decide if smoking is morally justifiable. I think the objective of the writer was to be informational and persuasive. Besides the effect that smoking has on children, and the tobacco companies predatory methods these companies have also mislead adult smokers for years as to the addictiveness of nicotine. The following link is an in depth research into the affects of tobacco on smokers. For Smokers Only This article is based on sound scientific medical principles and research. This site contains abstracts of numerous scientific articles with their most important findings. The first abstract discusses the substitution of smokeless tobacco for cigarettes. This course of action would drastically decrease the deaths caused by smoking. Another abstract gives the nicotine contents of smokeless tobaccos. The life expectancy of smokeless tobacco users is only 15 days less than that of a non-tobacco user. Whereas smokers' life expectancy is almost 8 years shorter than non-smokers. Most people who itch from cigarettes to smokeless tobacco cut down on their nicotine input altogether. The occurrence of oral cancer is usually thought to be higher for smokeless tobacco, but actually smokers are three times more likely to develop oral cancer than smokeless tobacco users. Life expectancy for smokeless tobacco users and nonsmokers were almost the same. A study showed in general that men and women who quit smoking between 40 and 60 years of age live ten to twenty percent longer than continuing smokers. This same benefit extends to those who quit smoking but continue to use smokeless tobacco. This site had a good medical background and the authorities are cited. The authorities are from respected medical journals. The objective of this site was to give a more feasible solution to the smoking problem, since banning smoking may be to much of an infringement on smokers' rights. This site is relevant to my readers because it provides smokers with an alternative to getting nicotine without affecting other people around them. This site had a very reasonable and honest argument. The authors have a logical thought process and a good argument. This site also gave statistics on life the expectancies of smokers, which may help my readers decide on the ethics of smoking. The above link showed how human lives are affected by the tobacco industry, but what kind of monitory costs does the tobacco industry impose on the world? The following link is a press release from the World No=Tobacco Day 1995: Tobacco Costs More Than You Think! "Even allowing for the short-term income it generates, it has been estimated that tobacco costs the world over $200 billion per year. Were this money to become available, it would be enough to double the current health budget of all the developing countries" said Dr. Hiroshi Nakajima Director-General of the World Health Organization(WHO). There are many strong statistics about tobacco. For instance, approximately three million people die around the world, which is about one every ten seconds from smoking. If a virus killed at that rate there would be world wide panic! About 1.1 billion smokers consume 6000 billion cigarettes every year. Resent research also states that a 10% increase in cigarettes would cause a 5% decrease in smokers. This site had many alarming statistics, and the author gave a reasonable and logical argument. The author is a credible source with medical knowledge. The objective of the author was to persuade world governments to place sanctions on the tobacco industry by placing taxes on cigarettes. This site was not graphically persuasive, but its format was easy to follow. This site gave my readers an insight to the cost of smoking and that money gained from banning tobacco, or by placing a tax on tobacco products.