Should the government take actions to deter individuals from smoking?
Giving people the freedom to use tobacco is like handing a loaded gun to someone contemplating suicide. Sure it is a choice, but one that also harms the family and community. How people can justify tobacco on the basis of tax and profit revenues is to ignore that these financial gains rest on the the illness and death of people who are addicted to a substance that is engineered to keep them smoking until they can smoke no more.
Even in the US, which does not have a comprehensive public health care system, the health problems associated with smoking impose significant costs on the government. For example, emphysema and other pulmonary diseases are prevalent among the Medicare population today largely because of smoking when they were younger adults. The government has an obligation to reduce these costs through campaigns to end smoking. Finally, the government has the right to protect its citizens from harms caused by others. The adverse effects of second-hand smoke are now accepted as medical fact.
The government has caved to tobacco companies for far too long, placing the that industry's interests above the health and well being of American citizens. The government has a responsibility to protect the people of this country and it is shameful that they would knowingly encourage the manufacture and sale of a product that is so dangerous. It is time for the government to do the right thing and help rectify the situation.
Even though it might be considered to be interfering in our lives, I think that the government should try to find a way to discourage people from smoking, or find a way to help them quit. They could start with focusing on young people. Get a clear message out how deadly this habit is. The time will come, probably sooner than later, when we will all know someone who died from smoking. Aside from banning smoking in public buildings and putting higher and higher taxes on cigarettes, there needs to be more measures taken to keep people from lighting up.
Government should definitely act to deter individuals from smoking because of all the detrimental effects and disease that accompanies the habit. Cigarettes are engineered to addict people and take away their ability to choose to stop. The fact that they are purposely made to be addictive is a good place to start the efforts to deter smoking.
Smoking is a horrible, nasty habit that not only affects the person inhaling but everyone exposed to his second-hand smoke. Moreover, the cost to treat people who develop lung cancer and emphysema is hefty and insurance companies pass those extra costs down to consumers by way of higher premiums and deductibles. The government has always stepped in when we were too stupid to use common sense in the past. One example is seat belt laws. So they may as well do what they can to stop people from smoking.
Talk about an effort in futility. Because the tobacco industry has such an economic influence on lawmakers, it is remarkable that even the most basic deterrents have been put into place. As a reformed smoker, I am ashamed of the smoke I exposed my husband and children to, as I smoked in our home. I would like to think that I would have been better behaved if I had known then what I know now. Government controls limiting and/or banning smoking will not stop the most zealous smokers, but it would have gotten through to a 30-year old mother years ago.
The costs of treating people with health problems caused by smoking is a major portion of the nation's overall health care costs. The government should do everything it can to lower these costs. This could be done with programs to curb smoking. A program of education should be used to prevent people from starting to smoke. A program of paying for pills, patches, hypnosis, counseling or whatever means necessary should be enacted to assist smokers to quit the habit. The cost of these programs would be offset by the reduction of expenses to treat smoker's health problems. The entire nation would see cheaper health insurance and health care costs.
That smoking causes health problems is not something which is in dispute. What is in dispute is whether the government should take action to deter smoking. Because the government is involved in the health care of its poor and elderly citizens, it has a vested interest in promoting good health practices. If more people smoke, the government's expenses will be greater for those smokers and those around them. The government should take actions to deter individuals from smoking. This will promote better health for all citizens and will cost everyone less in the long run.
I don't think that the government should be in the business of restricting people's personal habits. As long as people are not hurting anyone else with their smoking, they should be allowed to do it. That is not to say I am pro-smoking, because I am not. But if people want to smoke they should be allowed to. Just as people should be allowed to inject caffeine or aspirin or any number of legal drugs in this country.
I do completely agree that the government has to take strict actions to deter individuals from smoking. Smoking is injurious to health. I strictly oppose smoking as it welcomes death hammering diseases.
The government should not take actions to deter individuals from smoking because the government is already in over its head in so many fields that the national debt is astronomical. The government over-regulates too many facets of our lives. While the government is busy micro-managing our lives, it overlooks important government functions like national security, immigration control and terrorism.
The government should not take actions to deter individuals from smoking because individuals understand the consequences of smoking and it is their right to choose to smoke or not smoke. Both the government and private organizations have gone to great lengths to show the dangers of smoking and people continue to smoke. There is no need to waste taxpayer money on further educating people on the dangers when the money can be spent more effectively on other public programs.
If the government wants to help people with smoking then they should conduct smokers anonymous meetings. I think having the correct resources for people if and when they decide to quit is important. Educating people on the dangers of smoking will also benefit the cause. Since it isn't illegal to buy cigarettes how can the government tell you not to smoke. Once there are cigarettes begin made people will smoke them.
The government has taken action by requiring a warning of lung cancer consequences on all cigarette packs, and teaching elementary school children that smoking is bad through their textbooks. Considering that people who choose to smoke already know of the consequences, the government should leave them alone.
Government has the ability to take smoking away from government buildings and parks, but it does not have the right to come into homes and dictate whether or not an individual of legal age is permitted to smoke. This is an example of too much legislation, and it must be curtailed. Since the tobacco lawsuits, Americans are well-educated on the risks they take if they choose to smoke.
I understand the dangers of smoking and do not smoke myself. However, I think it is hypocritical of the government to, on the one hand, support the growth and production of tobacco, and on the other hand, take steps to keep people from smoking. I think tobacco products should have an age requirement, but beyond that, I think the government should step back until and unless it stops supporting tobacco as a crop.
Smoking is a personal choice, even though it is a poor choice to make. Government programs that deter smoking can be useful, but the problem is that there is a slippery slope of possibilities. Where does the program stop? When does smoking become illegal? What other unhealthy choices are then made illegal?
The definition of "deter," is truly the crux of this argument. I believe that the government should regulate where you can smoke, and they are more than allowed to tax it as they see fit. Although it is important to me that the right to smoke should never be outright taken away from a person entirely.
As history showed us during the Prohibition Era--and in the current "War on Drugs"--if the government tries to get involved in our personal vices and curb them (or put a stop to them), it only makes those vices more tempting and the average person is more compelled to become a lawbreaker. If the government gets more involved in deterrence than the existing anti-smoking ads, it would result in a marked increase in cigarette smuggling and, worse, it would hurt the already-flagging economies in Southern states, the chief producers of cigarette tobacco.
If we are going to allow the government to step in more than they already have with smoking, then we are justifying them to step in on anything that is deemed unhealthy. In case this sounds ridiculous let me remind you that they are in the works of trying to pass an "unhealthy tax" which will make the price of anything deemed unhealthy rise significantly; this includes fast foods. Life is way too stressful as is to start taking away the few remaining legal vices allowed in this country.
Government should try to discourage smoking by taxing cigarettes. The individual should still have the choice about whether to smoke or not. If the government outlaws cigarettes, people will still smoke but only black market cigarettes. That would be like prohibition in the 1920's all over again with organized crime selling cigarettes and corruption of the law enforcement trying to stop it.
While I don't condone smoking, I think that if the government is really concerned about people smoking, they should take tobacco off the market. There's no point in setting no-smoking rules if at the same time, it's being sold everywhere. To me, it's like saying that I can spend my money on it, but I can't use it, after I've purchased it. What kind of sense does that make?
People can smoke three packs a day and still be productive members of society so the government really has no right to try to deter people from smoking. The fact that smoking is a "slow suicide" is something for an individual to consider when he or she decides whether or not to start smoking, but it's really not a government issue. Unhealthy food is a "slow suicide" or sorts as well but there's no talk of the government trying to deter people from eating fast food.
There is no reason for the government to try to deter individuals from smoking. People are going to smoke no matter what kind of statistics or literature is shown. We have raised the taxes on tobacco products, but people still continue to buy them. Besides, most smokers already know the statistics, however they still continue to smoke.
It is not the role of the government to prohibit or deter individuals from certain behaviors such as smoking. Although smoking is known to be harmful, it is a person's right to choose whether or not they want to smoke. As well, using tax payer money for such a program would not be met well by many Americans.
I feel that smoking is a choice and the government should not take action to deter individuals from smoking. There are already countless television commercials that try to discourage people from smoking. I feel we should live and let live. There is already a ban in my state from smoking in public establishments. It keeps me from going out.