be illegal? People smoke for several reasons.
Some people think it is cool or that it relieves stress. Most kids start
because of peer pressure.
The smoking habit
and addiction to nicotine usually begins at an early age. In the United
States, over seventy percent of adults who smoke began smoking before the age of eighteen
(Encarta, 1998). Smoking should be illegal because there are so many illnesses
that people can get whether they are actually smoking or getting secondhand smoke. In
1998, the American Cancer Society estimated that cigarettes were responsible for over 400 thousand deaths in the United States each year (Encarta, 1998). Also in 1998, lung cancer accounted for about twenty-nine percent of all cancer deaths in the United States and smoking accounted for about eighty-seven
percent of those lung cancer deaths (Encarta, 1998). Smokers are at increased
risk for cancer of the larynx, oral cavity, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas.
A ten-year study published in 1997 concluded that regular exposure to secondhand smoke almost doubled the risk of heart
disease. Female smokers that smoke while they are pregnant increase the probability
of their child smoking when they get older. There is a higher incidence of SIDS
(Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) among infants whose mothers smoke during pregnancy or after birth. Risk also increases in households where the father or another family member smoked. Research indicates that infants exposed to cigarette smoke only after birth are twice as likely to die
of SIDS (Encarta, 1998).
I know what you are
going to say, “It’s a person’s choice whether they want to smoke or not,” and yes it is their choice
but they are not only effecting themselves, but other people, whether it be their best friend, their worst enemy, or someone
they’ve never seen.
Encarta. CD-Rom. 1998
SIRS- Title Secondhand Smoke. Susie Spear. Pgs. 1-4. 1993
SIRS- Title Smoking Big With Children. Dana Flavelle. Pgs. 1-4.