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Taxes on Cigarettes Should Be Raised

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As a child walks down the hallway on his way to class, he passes a group of teenagers smoking, and they offer him a cigarette. He declines the offer, and continues on his way. Then, he sees a girl coughing uncontrollably from the smoke in the hallway.

Things like this are happening all over the U.S., and we need to do something about it. Kids in America are hearing about smoking, and have to learn the dangers of it. There are many suspicions about the ozone layer thinning, and air pollution. One of the things adding to these problems is smoking, and I think that higher taxes will lower human and global health risks.

The taxes on cigarettes should be raised because higher taxes on cigarettes will lower the overall consumption. All over America, underage smoking is happening, and raising the taxes on cigarettes is one way we can slow this down. According to the website TobaccoFreeKids.org, if the government increases cigarette taxes by ten percent, it reduces the overall consumption of cigarettes by three to five percent. The money from the taxes can be used for hospitals that take in people who are sick from smoking, or other charity funds. That way, the government will make more money, and can use it wisely. But there are other problems that higher taxes will help to fix as well.
Some people do not think about what is happening to their bodies as they smoke. They may think that overall, even if they smoke, they will stay healthy if they eat right and exercise. This is not so. When you smoke, many things happen to you that you may not realize until it is too late. According to the book Nicotine And Cigarettes by Gina De Angelis, smoking causes your heart rate to speed up by fifteen to twenty five beats per second, reduces the amount of oxygen in your blood, which kills brain cells, and it also works your heart harder than it should, which can lead to strokes, and heart disease. Also, your appetite is suppressed, so you may not get as many nutrients and vitamins your body needs because you won’t be hungry. People are 10 to 30% more likely to develop lung cancer. According to De Angelis. In my opinion, one of the worst things about smoking is what it gives to others. Smoking is dangerous for not only the smoker, but also for the people around the smoker. While smoking cigarettes, the person smoking’s lungs filter some of the chemicals and tar before letting it out again. But the exhaled smoke still has cancer-causing chemicals in it, which people around the smoker have no choice but to inhale. People don’t even know what is happening when they stand next to a smoker. Completely innocent strangers are inhaling these dangerous chemicals.
If higher taxes on cigarettes happen, then it can reduce the amount of smoking, especially underage smoking greatly. In one way it will make it harder for younger people to purchase cigarettes from sellers because they will be more expensive. It will also minimize cigarette exposure to kids, making them less curious about what it feels like to smoke. De Angelis says, “Every day, 3000 kids begin smoking.” Do we really want to risk Massachusetts’s kids becoming a large part of those 3000 smokers?

Suppose a child is walking down the street, and they pass a group of people on their lunch break. A lot of the time, people on their afternoon break, can be found smoking. What do you think would happen to a little kid who walked passed a group of smokers? What kind of influence would that give the child? Now, suppose a child is living in a home with a smoker. That child secretly thinks that it is okay to smoke. If the smoker stops buying cigarettes because of the high taxes, it will significantly lessen the influence on the child. The taxes will make the adults who smoke think about where all their money on cigarettes goes. They realize that they could use all that money they spend on cigarettes for home projects, paying bills, or buying more food for their families. “More and more people are smoking, and if they raise the taxes, people won’t be able to afford it, and will stop, or slow down.” Says Léanna Caillet, a student of the atrium school. It will also discourage smoking, so people will think twice about “lighting up.” The best way to stop smoking is to never start, and if less start, less will have to quit.

I don’t think the taxes should be raised too much, but I do think that if they are raised, it will solve many problems, including all the lives that are at risk because of not only the advertizing, but also the influence.

On many packs of cigarettes, or ads for cigarettes, you will find people laughing, talking, and having fun. Obviously, this is not what happens when you smoke, in fact, it can do the exact opposite to you.

My last word about this issue is that if the taxes are raised, then many lives, including many innocent children’s lives, will be saved.

Bibliography

C.Gallagher, Patrick; College, Elon. “Do Taxes Really Affect the Consumption of Cigarettes?” http://org.elon.edu/ipe/gallagher.pdf.

De Angelis, Gina. Nicotine And Cigarettes. United States of America: Chelsea House Publishers, 2000

“Raising Cigarette Taxes Reduces Smoking, Especially Among Kids (And The Cigarette Companies Know It).” Washington, DC. Campaign for Tobacco-free Kids. http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/research/factsheets/pdf/0146.pdf.





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Teddy_J said...
Aug. 27, 2012 at 6:06 am
Nice article. As a smoker, it has made me think a little about my habit. I think, though, that a better alternative to raising taxes would be to crackdown on home grown tobacco, which can be accessed by anyone of any age at a very cheap price. Also, did you mean to write 15-25 beats per minute instead of per second? Otherwise, I really liked it :)
 
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