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Don't be a Statistic; Say No to the Tobacco Industry

Have you ever turned on the television, flipped a page in a magazine, or drove down the highway and seen a tobacco-related advertisement? The answer is probably yes. The tobacco industry’s spend over $34 million dollars a day on marketing and advertisement to get people like you to begin to use tobacco products, such as cigarettes, cigars, snuff, chewing and pipe tobacco. Currently, more and more, we find that the tobacco industries are trying to advertise to young kids and teens. “We wanted to get into that market, (youth market) and used the promotional items, tee shirts, baseball caps, and one hot item was lighters, knowing full well the people were giving these away to be kids half the time.” (Salesman for RJRenyolds Tobacco Company). The sad part is their advertising works because statistics show that an estimated 6,000 children under the age of 18 will begin smoking each day, and of those 2,000 will continue to smoke. This means that 800,000 teens will become smokers each year.

Tobacco companies hide the truth of what is really in their cigarettes. If people knew what they were inhaling into their body, I could bet that more than half of them wouldn’t continue to smoke! Not many people know that there are over 4000 chemicals in a cigarette and of those chemicals 69 of them are known to cause cancer. But what’s really in those cigarettes? There is methoprone, which is a chemical used to kill fleas on your pets, there is Acetone which is in nail polish remover, and there is lead which stunts growth and damages your brains. Another chemical is formaldehyde, which is used to preserve dead bodies and there is even turpentine, which is a paint stripper. Then there is the chemical Nicotine, an addictive drug that increases blood pressure and heart rate. The tobacco industry’s even put other chemicals like ammonia, which the tobacco companies claim was for flavor but scientists studied that it only absorbs more nicotine. My question is why do tobacco companies get to put Nicotine and carcinogenic drugs into a cigarette? My guess is that they know that without nicotine no one would purchase tobacco, since they wouldn’t have the addiction.

The truth is that they know what they’re doing to people who smoke cigarettes. Studies have been recorded that tobacco companies know the nicotine they put into the cigarette is addictive. Someone from Brown and Williamson, a popular tobacco company, said “Nicotine is addictive. We are, then, in the business of selling nicotine, an addictive drug.” (B&W, 1963). The problem is the tobacco companies don’t want to admit that nicotine is an addictive drug, because they’re afraid that if they do, that the Food and Drug Administration will be able to regulate cigarettes, which would lead to lowering the amount of nicotine or even removing it. But how is it fair for tobacco companies to be allowed to do this? When surveyed 70% out of 45,000 Americans who smoke, want to quit; the problem is they can't! When Nicotine is inhaled, it moves from the lungs, to the bloodstream and to the brain in 10 seconds. Then it triggers chemical reactions which are pleasurable for the smoker but don’t last that long. As the nicotine in the blood begins to drop, the smoker feels agitated and craves another cigarette, so the cycle never stops. Smokers can't stop, and unless the nicotine is removed from the cigarette the struggle to quit will continue. I had to watch my grandfather firsthand go through several years of chemotherapy from the lung cancer he developed from smoking. In those times, nobody knew the harmful chemicals in cigarettes. But with current technology, the Food and Drug Administration should put a stop to this drug being sold.

Everyone knows that cigarettes are addictive, yet the government allows the tobacco industry to continue advertising and marketing this drug. There needs to be a stop put to this immediately. Tobacco is the most widely-used addictive substance in the world! Are farmers and the government afraid that preventing tobacco from being sold will negatively affect the economy? The government knows that without the taxes from of tobacco products, they wouldn’t make so much money. The United States government makes over 25 million dollars annually, from the taxes on cigarette products. It’s not only the tobacco industry hiding something; rather the government doesn’t want to stop tobacco from being sold. The tobacco industry and government need to open their eyes and see that people everywhere are dying from the most preventable death in the world. Honestly, though, do they care? No. But to humans loosing loved ones, it does matter! Tobacco kills more Americans each year than alcohol, cocaine, crack, heroine, homicide, suicide, car accidents, fire, and AIDs combined. An estimated 6 million people worldwide die from tobacco use annually.

The tobacco industries try to act innocent and unaware of the wrong they are committing. They tell us that nicotine isn’t an addictive drug, and that they don’t want kids to smoke. They even tell us through advertisement that tobacco use is safe and even helps with weight lost. These tobacco industries are lying. They know the truth, they know what they’re doing to you, and yet they continue to hide what really goes on. The government can be blamed too; they uneducate smokers on the risk, unless you count the small general warning that blends into the cigarette box. The long-term effects don’t begin right away. It isn’t until a couple years pass that the people who smoked or still smoke are now those who now suffer from strokes, multiple different types of cancer, and other health problems due to tobacco use will ask why. Why is a product allowed to be made and sold that will eventually lead you to your death? The tobacco industries don’t care about their customers, they don’t care if you become a statistic, all they care about is your money. And the saddest part of it all is throughout the several minutes you read this paper, every ten seconds a person dies from tobacco-related cause. Just count the amount of deaths that just took place, and now think that the tobacco companies were a cause of all those deaths.

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