Reasons Why It Is Impossible To Make Smoking Illegal
In the late 1400s, Europeans were the first to cultivate and discover tobacco. Since then the substance has become widespread across the globe, from first becoming an economic standard, to becoming a fully developed tobacco industry in the 1700s (Cancer Council, N/D). Previously tobacco was chewed on, but today tobacco is smoked by inhaling and exhaling a tobacco product or a drug substance. Since the discovery, many have been warned of the highly negative effects it can have on both a smoker and non-smoker, however, the tobacco industry thrives off its consumers whose health is declining because of its products. Firstly, the industry has a wide range of products that are distributed in many stores that slowly allow consumers, both current and potential, to become accustomed to smoking. Secondly, a consumer’s addiction to tobacco products is what creates a high demand for this yearned brand. Lastly, the advertisements for smoking come across as an enticing trend amongst viewers. So, smoking comes with significant issues, yet the tobacco industry is profiting off of these matters and smoking is still legal.
To begin with, the wide range of tobacco products convince and allow consumers to become easily accustomed to the idea of smoking. In 2018, the cigarette market had an income of $888 Billion (USD), and it is predicted that by 2024 the market will be worth $1124 Billion (USD) (Research and Markets, 2019). The success of the industry’s continual growth is due to the wide array of tobacco products that have been made available to consumers, both current and potential. Examples of the industry’s products include filter, menthol, and clove cigarettes, cigars, etc. These products can also be classified as light, moderate or heavy cigarettes based on how strong the cigarette is. This substantial cigarette range promotes an easier way of smoking through its more ‘safer’ cigarettes which are the light and menthol cigarettes. These equally harmful cigarettes lure in potential consumers, particularly the younger audience, who want to begin smoking which potentially may lead them to start to use the more moderate cigarettes as smoking becomes more comfortable for them (The American Cancer Society medical and editorial team, 2015). Equally, another cigarette product that is ‘safer’ are e-cigarettes, also known as vaping devices (electronic cigarette), these trendy gadgets are usually seen as harmless and more suitable for newer customers who want to get used to smoking (The American Cancer Society medical and editorial team, 2015). Similarly, these products are available in many outlets such as tobacco shops, supermarkets, convenience stores, etc. The convenience of these products has been made simply accessible so that a significant amount of different classed consumers can easily obtain the desired cigarette when feelings of withdrawal arise. The tobacco industry cleverly markets and distributes products in ways that are misleading to customers and effortlessly accessible to its consumers. As a consumer smokes more regularly an addiction can start to form.
Secondly, consumers that are addicted to smoking create heavy demands on tobacco products that continue to benefit the income of the tobacco industry. The ongoing growth of smokers is due to the stressful aspects of a consumer’s life. Around the world, an approximate amount of 6.5 trillion cigarettes are issued out to a wide range of diverse classed consumers (Martin, T, 2018). It is known that smoking eases the mind of a consumer that may be experiencing or going through challenging times. Cigarettes contain nicotine, which is implemented into the products, so it comforts a smoker. This drug causes the brain and body to receive messages traveling to and from at a high speed. The more a user continues to inhale the product for its comfort the more they become dependent on it, which leads to addiction (Alcohol and Drug Foundation, 2019). So, once addicted, cigarettes become a necessity to a user’s mental and emotional state which allows the industry to continue to profit off of its consumer’s growing health problems regardless of the negative impact it can have (Help to Quit, 2018). A continuous cycle of this smoking addiction rotates; feelings of uneasiness, smoke a cigarette, it continues. While people smoke to cope with everyday life, it can lead a consumer’s wellbeing to the danger zone. This can slowly lead to more serious mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc. (Alcohol and Drug Foundation, 2019). As a smoker’s mental health starts to become more heightened the more cigarettes that are being consumed, which causes the tobacco industry to distribute more products each day which becomes advantageous for them. While these tobacco products help smooth a user’s mind it continues to deteriorate the consumer’s health.
To continue, in some parts of countries smoking is restricted in particular areas, but it does not change the idea that it continues to bring a significant amount of health problems and even affect those who are non-smokers. Examples of restricted smoking areas include business premises, restaurants, schools, community centers, etc. The restriction of smoking in certain areas does not change that smoking affects the lives of many. Smoking takes the lives of more than 8 million (World Health Organization, 2019). The World Health Organization (2019) states that out of the 8 million, “1.2 million are the result of non-smokers exposed to secondhand smoke”. So, the constant demands of cigarettes amongst consumers are negatively affecting them and others who are surrounded. The idea is smoking leads consumers to continually assist themselves to keep emotions under control being fully dependant on this substance. Thus, the industry portrays smoking to be appealing to its audience to receive an impressive income.
Lastly, the tobacco industry advertises its products to come across as trendy and appealing amongst customers in various ways. Today, advertising is everywhere, on street signs, in movies, on television, social media, even at the bus stop, the level of advertising the tobacco industry goes for is significant. Each year the industry spends billions to create the perfect tobacco advert as exciting, trendy, and safe. A lot of the times smoking can be viewed on video games, tv, and online. For example, a certain character in a tv show may be seen smoking casually whilst they talk to a friend or a video game may contain a short segment where a video is displayed showing two soldiers smoking casually. The media has a big influence in today’s society and the tobacco industry uses deceptive ways to appeal to a wider audience. These various advertising strategies are viewed by a wide range of audiences such as young teenagers to adults (The American Cancer Society medical and editorial team, 2015). The way smoking adverts are displayed influences a viewer that smoking is ‘ok’ and is not as harmful as it seems. Those viewers who are more exposed to smoking advertisements may slowly find a liking to the idea of smoking (The American Cancer Society medical and editorial team, 2015). So, the media plays a significant role in the tobacco industry’s marketing. A substantial amount of people are surrounded by the media, and the smoking adverts that are viewed by a wider population can encourage them to begin smoking which will impact a potential customer’s life. However, the tobacco industry is the ones that seek the benefits.
In conclusion, the reason smoking is not illegal is due to the significant amount of money it successfully makes off of the deteriorating lives of its consumers. So, the tobacco industry should stop the idea of weaker cigarettes so that the younger population isn’t influenced by the easily accustomed to the idea of smoking. Also, consumers should make the effort to seek assistance through qualified professionals such as a therapist to reduce the cause of smoking addiction. Similarly, the tobacco industry should decrease the level of excitement in advertisements so that viewers aren’t wrongly misled. The industry needs to improve on not misleading its consumers for its ongoing success since smoking will continue to legal.
- Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF), Last updated 28th June 2019, ‘Nicotine’, Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF), https://adf.org.au/drug-facts/nicotine/, Accessed 31st August.
- Cancer Council, N/D, ‘A Brief History of Smoking’, Cancer Council, https://www.cancercouncil.com.au/31899/uncategorized/a-brief-history-of-smoking/, Accessed 22nd August 2019.
- Help to Quit, Last updated April 2018, ‘Why do People Smoke’, Help to Quit, https://www.helptoquit.com.au/smoking-facts/why-do-people-smoke, Accessed 28th August 2019.
- Martin, T, Last updated 6th November 2018, ‘Smoking Statistics From Around the World’, Verywellmind, https://www.verywellmind.com/global-smoking-statistics-for-2002-2824393, Accessed 28th August 2019.
- Research and Markets, Last updated 19th February 2019, ‘Global Cigarette Market 2018-2019 & 2024: The Market was Worth US$ 888 Billion in 2018 and is Projected to Reach a Value of $1,124 Billion by 2024’, Cision PR Newswire, https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/global-cigarette-market-2018-2019–2024-the-market-was-worth-us-888-billion-in-2018-and-is-projected-to-reach-a-value-of-1-124-billion-by-2024–300797851.html, Accessed 22nd August 2019.
- Sharma, R, Last updated 27th February 2015, ‘3 Reasons Why Tobacco Is the Most ‘Successful’ Industry in History’, Showbiz Cheatsheet, https://www.cheatsheet.com/money-career/3-reasons-why-tobacco-is-the-most-successful-industry-in-history.html/, Accessed 30th August 2019.
- The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team, Last updated 13th November 2015, ‘Why People Start Smoking and Why it’s Hard to Stop’, American Cancer Society, https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/tobacco-and-cancer/why-people-start-using-tobacco.html , Accessed 22nd August 2019.
- World Health Organization (WHO), Last updated 26th July 2019, ‘Tobacco’, World Health Organization (WHO), https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/tobacco, Accessed 22nd August 2019.