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Tobacco is a plant native to many South American countries including


our very own state of Virginia. Smoking tobacco has been an addictive
sensation for hundreds of years and continues to be a leading killer. With an
average of 480,000 deaths annually including second hand smoke victims;
puts smoking tobacco the most deadly addiction (Bjornlund). The death rates
are higher than more commonly known deadly addictions such as heroin,
cocaine and many other highly addictive drugs. From the moment you take
the first puff that it affects your health. The populations being most heavily
impacted by tobacco are young adults. Although the numbers heave
decreased through the years, they are still astronomically high. Statistically
speaking, 80 percent of smokers say they started before the age of 18
(Bjornlund). In order to keep our young safe further regulations need to be
set on tobacco. Would it be so bad to make it illegal rather than just limit who
can buy it?
When people buy a pack of cigarettes, there is a label regulated by the
Federal Food and Drug Association that states the ingredients that you are
inhaling (Staff). Have you ever taken the time to read the label? If you did,
you would think twice before taking another puff. In a single cigarette there
are chemicals such as: Arsenic (found in food poison), methanol (found in
rocket fuel), Butane (found in lighter fluid), and Cadamium (found in car
batteries), and thats only naming a few (Chastain). Chemicals used in rocket
fuel are just something that should not be put into someones body. Is
smoking a cigarette for five minutes worth inhaling deadly chemicals into

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your body that can kill you? When people go to the grocery store, majority of
the time people are going to look at the label of ingredients to figure out
whether or not it is healthy, and or whether or not you can even eat it. Why
wouldnt you do the same thing when you purchase a pack of cigarettes,
something everyone knows is deadly. It says it on the label that smoking
tobacco is deadly and can lead to disease and death (Staff). Consuming
chemicals that are used in something that one clearly wouldnt eat or even
touch just doesnt make sense.
Although smoking tobacco is the most popular, it isnt the only way to
use it. Other forms such as chewing tobacco are just as deadly if not
deadlier. Where smoking tobacco directly affects ones lungs, chewing
tobacco erodes the mouth and jaw and can ultimately result in the loss of
teeth and jaw. Smoking tobacco is commonly associated with causing the
cancerous tumor containing lung cancer whereas chewing tobacco is
associated with causing oral, throat and mouth cancers. Both are heavily
correlated with many cancers discovered today. A new trend has been
breaking throughout the country known as E-Cigs or electronic cigarettes.
Believed to be safer for the body and environment but in reality is just as
dangerous and harmful (Tavernise, A.1 DB - SIRS Issues Researcher).
Electronic cigarettes provide a more portable way to smoke so it essentially
influences smokers to smoke even more. The use of electronic cigarettes is
known to be hit for the youth. Being a more technologically advanced
generation we tend to use the newest and greatest inventions so when a

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new cool way to smoke cigarettes the youth is heavily influenced. The
commercials pertaining to electronic cigarettes are becoming what tobacco
commercials once were. The E-Cig corporations are using popular athletes
dress in classy attire to make the youth believe that smoking an electronic
cigarette is a classier form. We need to be controlling smoking tobacco
rather than influencing it. Thankfully the government has tried to do just
that. The FDA ignored the E-Cigs until they realized that they were just as
harmful. The electronic cigarettes are now controlled by the same laws that
regulate the standard cigarette. Although this still needs to be increased, it is
a start to gain recognition from the federal government.
Regulations on tobacco have gradually become stronger over the
years, starting in 1950 when every state in the United States prohibited the
sale of tobacco to minors (Staff). This greatly reduced the amount of teens
smoking tobacco, but did not stop it as a whole. Teens were still getting
access to smoke cigarettes and thought it made them look cool so it
spread throughout the nation, with no help from advertising. Next, in 1965
the Federal Cigarette Labeling and Advertising Act required that all packs of
cigarettes include "cigarette smoking may be hazardous to your health on
the label (Staff). Still to this day this warning is ignored by millions. In 1996,
President Bill Clinton approved FDA regulations that restricted tobacco
advertising aimed at teenagers and made it more difficult for minors to
purchase cigarettes. This prevented celebrities from being used to influence
teens that wanted to be like them but was certainly not an immense impact

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(Staff). The use of tobacco advertisements were popular in the 90s because
the youth has always been star gazed by celebrities and athletes they
heavily influenced what the youth did. When teens see famous people doing
something they often want to follow that celebrity in hopes to have the fame
or popularity that they have. In order to reduce the influence of young adults
to start smoking the federal government put limitations on how celebrities
can be used in advertisements. Unfortunately, the regulations were
overturned in the 2000 Supreme Court Case FDA vs. Brown & Williamson
Tobacco Corp. when the Court ruled that the FDA did not have the authority
to regulate tobacco (Staff). Shortly after the 2000 Supreme Court case the
passage of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act in 2009
granted the FDA authority to regulate tobacco products, this marked the turn
where the federal government could actually control the tobacco industry.
In contrast to the negatives that correlate to tobacco smoking there is
one, miniscule positive. The money, since the government is able to regulate
tobacco they are able to regulate taxes. The government uses what is called
a sin tax. This is a tax on products in attempts to persuade people to not
buy and use them. Since it is considered a drug in our country the
government tends to increase the taxes and can continue to increase them
because people are so addicted they will pay it. Having a high tax on a
product from a multi-million dollar industry strongly influences the economy.
The negatives ultimately outweigh the positives but if there is no way to
completely control the use of tobacco without resulting in another crime drug

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battle than the least we can do is to create systems to contribute to the


countrys economy off of others bad decisions.
In the big picture tobacco is a nasty addiction that has no benefits for
ones health or the health of our environment. With all the diseases and
health issues tobacco causes why do people insist on smoking and chewing
it? Consider the chemicals that are being put into your body and really
evaluate if that five minutes of inhaling poison really worth what you are
doing inside the body. Not to mention that smokers tend to have wrinkles on
their face around the mouth where the chemicals in the cigarette come in
contact with the skin. Thats just not attractive no matter how you look at it.
Statistics prove that teens who are influenced to smoke are the ones who
smoke their entire life. In order to put an end to our nations youth smoking
further regulations need to be implemented. We may never be able to
completely control the use of tobacco but why not try to influence our youth
to stay away from tobacco. Rather than creating advertisements to get
people to smoke why not create more and more graphic advertisements to
persuade people to not smoke. If people really evaluated what they are
putting into their body and what it can do to your body they may re-consider
smoking. In order to do that the people must be aware of the chemicals that
are used in cigarettes. Progressive steps of regulations and commercials of
what people are truly doing themselves is necessary in the battle to put an
end to tobacco. Evaluate the costs vs benefits; is that cigarette really worth

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killing yourself everything around you? Dont be selfish and do your part to
put an end to tobacco.

Works Cited
Bjornlund, Lydia. Teen Smoking. San Diego, CA: ReferencePoint, 2010. Print.
CDC Press Release (2014 Nov 13): N.p. DB - SIRS Government Reporter. Print.
Chastain, Zachary. Tobacco: Through the Smoke Screen. Comp. Jack E. Henningfield. Philadelphia:
Mason Crest, 2013. Print.

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Corbett Dooren, Jennifer. "Court Upholds Graphic Tobacco Labels." Wall Street Journal 2012 mar 20:
A.2 DB - SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 10 Dec. 2014. <http://sks.sirs.com>.
"E-Cigarettes: Questions and Answers." E-Cigarettes: Questions and Answers. FDA, 9 Sept. 2010.
Web. 09 Dec. 2014.
"Group Objects to 2 Members of Tobacco Safety Panel | The #1 Source for Pipes and Pipe Tobacco
Information." The 1 Source for Pipes and Pipe Tobacco Information RSS. Ed. Duff Wilson. New
York Times, 7 June 2010. Web. 11 Dec. 2014.
"Smokeless Tobacco." Smokeless Tobacco. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2014.
Staff, Proquest. At Issue: Tobacco Regulation. N.p.: ProQuest LLC, 2014 DB - SIRS Issues Researcher.
Web. 8 Dec. 2014. <http://sks.sirs.com>.
Tavernise, Sabrina. "New U.S. Rules on E-Cigarettes to Be Proposed." New York Times 2014 apr 24:
A.1 DB - SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 10 Dec. 2014. <http://sks.sirs.com>.