Take the example of the United States of America. More than four hundred thousand people die on a yearly basis due to cigarettes. Health care cost more than seventy five billion in 1998 due to cigarettes. In the year 2004, more than two million people started smoking and almost seventy percent of these were under eighteen years of age (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). These results just barely scratch the surface of the seriousness of the issue at hand and before proceeding to the rest of the arguments in favor of banning smoking, the views of tobacco advocates are presented first.
One of the most common arguments made by the people who are against banning tobacco substances (mostly the tobacco companies) is that tobacco usage is a matter of personal choice. They support this claim by claiming that the nicotine content in the cigarettes for example is very low and is not sufficient to cause addiction. As mentioned earlier, nicotine is the addictive factor in cigarettes and other tobacco products. However, according to a previous article in the Washington Post, tobacco companies have, over the period 1998 to 2004, increased the content of nicotine by an estimated ten per cent. The greatest nicotine increases have been observed in brand names that are primarily targeted towards the youth (Brown).
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