November 4, 2016

Should the same laws which prohibit the sale and consumption of heroin be applied to tobacco?

Millions of people around the world regularly smoke cigarettes. But research evidence shows that tobacco has adverse effects on health.  Additionally, tobacco endangers the environment and strains the economy. I think that tobacco needs to be regulated just like heroin.

Tobacco-related fatalities exceed road accidents, HIV/Aids and suicide combined.  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2014) supports this argument and adds that 480,000 people die from cancer-related causes each year in the United States. According to World Health Organization (2006), tobacco causes 90% of all lung cancers. These include lung, vesicle, larynx, mouth and throat cancers. Other effects are chronic pulmonary disease, emphysema, chronic bronchitis and cardiovascular diseases.

Tobacco production is harmful to the environment. Forests are cleared to pave the way for tobacco production. As a result, this affects the climate and environment. Public Health (2013) observed that tobacco production requires the use of multiple pesticides, fungicides and herbicides throughout the growing season. Therefore, pesticides harm birds and other small animals and cause soil degradation.

Tobacco reduces economic productivity.  Many governments across the world spent billions of shillings on treatment and care of patients with tobacco-related diseases as cancer, instead of investing in other economic activities. The money should be used in alternative investment to improve the economy.

The harmful effects of tobacco outweigh the purported benefits. Tobacco smokers and non-smokers suffer many health conditions related to cigarette smoking. It also damages the environment and lessens economic gains. Therefore, heroin sale and consumption laws should be applied to tobacco.

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