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100
User voted Yes.
1 vote
Dec 4, 2015

It's a question that brings a much bigger question and I think it's been discussed some time ago right here on OpiWiki although I don't remember where it was:

How far do we go when freedom crosses the path of other important elements of society, such as security and, in this case - public health?

Most smokers will bring freedom as an argument to defend their rights to smoke. And they're not totally wrong. After all, once we ban cigarettes, where would we stop? Do we ban other dangerous things? How about alcohol? How about firearms ownership? Tanning salons? Race car driving? Red meat? In the end, will we even be able to eat and drink what we want?

Sanitizing society, in general, is an awfully scary concept to me. Because it brings the flag of progressivism along with it. And progressivism is hard to counter. Actually, it's unstoppable. After all, they keep on saying it; you can't stop progress. If you are against it, you are a dinosaur, if not worst. Because sanitizing society does not come alone - it has an army of scientists and experts, well armed with studies and statistics.

How can we truly be for the right to smoke cigarettes without sounding like an egoistical person - or like an addict? Who is against measures that'll make our cities a better place to live? If we ban cigarettes, won't we live longer? If we ban cigarettes, won't our children live better lives?

I'm against banning most things people want to ban. But cigarettes have such a devastating cost. There's just so much evidence that proves it nowadays. If there's one thing I'd ban, it would be cigarettes. But it would probably be the only consumable good I'd ban at the moment.

Cancer, but also cardivascular diseases and, of course, other health-related problems are caused by smoking. I might sound like Scrooge here, but listen, there's so much taxpayer money we're losing because of cigarette smokers, it goes beyond imagination. Think of all the things we could do with that wasted money. All the costs due to medication, visits to the doctor, operations...

And of course, heavy smokers eventually end up getting in a pretty bad physical shape, so they are not as productive as they would be at work if they were not smoking. I might be forgetting a few more examples, but I think you get the picture: smoking not only causes cancer, it is a cancer. It's a cancer we know our society has. And we know how to eradicate it. Why wait? Is freedom truly going to get a big blow if we ban cigarettes? What if we are simply trading one freedom for another? Maybe we should consider the offer. If we're not seduced by the freedom of living a better life, at least we can settle for the freedom of getting more money in our pockets.

That is, of course, if the government wants us to keep it - but that is another question. :P

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100
opinion
1 vote
Feb 12, 2016

Nothing at all should be left illegal, its our basic right to control our bodies an do whatever with them. We just need education for what to use and when - if you gonna use.

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100
User voted Yes.
main reply
1 vote,
Feb 13, 2016

The problem is that not only the smoker is affected by the cigarette's effects. Passive smoking has been proven to be harmful as well. Children, pregnant women and of course people who are already sick are especially vulnerable. Plus, like I said in my initial opinion, the cost on healthcare (in countries where healthcare is paid in part by taxpayers) is enormous.

I am all for freedom for the people... As long as it does not affect my quality of life and, in a way, my own freedom. I want to live a healthy life and I don't want to waste my tax money paying for the treatment of a cancer someone has caught knowingly.

Of course the education idea is good, in theory. In practice, I hardly believe we could manage to keep smokers away from other people at all times and thus prevent passive smoking. Even if we did, the smokers would still end up being an unecessary weight on our economy since it wouldn't keep them from having smoking-related health issues.

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100
2 votes,
Feb 14, 2016

The problem with your argument is that almost anything you do affects others. Driving a car, the exhaust can cause cardiovascular disease, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), lung cancer. So under your argument everyone should stop driving cars. After all it affect your quality of life, same can be said for barbecue, campfires, fireplaces, furnaces, etc.

So tell me where do you draw the line? Personally as long as the harm is minimal to others you should be free to put in your body whatever you want, I've also said you can't use diminished capacity as a defense if you happen to harm someone while under the influence, should smoking be banned in places you have to go or that are owned by the public (jail, DMV, libraries etc) , yes. As far as the government demanding business ban smoking, that should be left up to the business, the owners are taking the risk, not the government.

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100
User voted Yes.
2 votes,
Feb 15, 2016

The difference is that cigarettes do not offer anything besides death. Cars, barbecues, campfires, fireplaces and furnaces all have a purpose. They bring you from one place to another, feed you, brings a little warmth in your house when it's cold, etc.

Unless we're talking about carelessness ( ex: using a barbecue inside your home ), I highly doubt there have been many deaths directly related to barbecues, campfires, fireplaces and furnaces.

As for cars, however, I would agree with you. Cars sure are an important cause for pollution. But then again, are we willing to lose the luxury we have been living in for the past decades thanks to motorized transportation? If we ban all gas-fueled cars now, in a time when we have yet to adapt to more planet-friendly measures, it would be a gigantic step back for mankind as a whole. The worldwide economy that we currently depend on would collapse and the ensuing collateral damages would probably plunge humanity into some sort of post-apocalyptic era.

I don't think the same would happen if we banned cigarettes today.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Leading causes of death

World Health Organisation - Leading causes of death

As you can see, the three major causes of death in the US and the around the world ( Heart disease, cancer and chronic respiratory diseases ) are all cigarette-related. Of course, smoking is not the cause of all the deaths listed in these statistics, but it gives a pretty good glimpse of how devastating cigarette smoking can be. Passive smoking is more difficult to pinpoint and tobacco companies know this, so they use the same kind of argument you use: "It's your life, your choice, no one gets to decide for you, it's all about freedom!", but the reality is that the smoke doesn't change whether you inhale it first or not. The chemicals remain the same, and it does go from one person's lungs to another if they are close enough. You claim the harm is minimal. I tend to disagree.

My uncle worked for many years in a smoker-friendly environment back when second-hand smoking wasn't really an issue for most people. Some years ago, he went to see the doctor because he was coughing a lot. He did some tests and then the first thing his doctor asked him was "Do you smoke?". It was discovered that he had throat cancer despite the fact that he never smoked a single cigarette in his entire life. They discovered he had the same kind of damaged lungs a regular smoker has. He had to quit his job and everything he was involved with (he was a very active person in his community), had to undergo chemotherapy treatments and had to get an operation. I now encourage you to calculate the monetary and, perhaps even more importantly, the human cost passive smoking had on my uncle and his family and multiply that by a few hundred thousands to get an idea of how much of an impact passive smoking has on the world. Luckily, my uncle lives in Canada where most of the medical treatments are covered by government insurance, but think of a similar scenario in a country where they don't offer such a thing. According to the World Health Organisation, more than 600 000 people die prematurely every year because of passive smoking.

When you enter your car every morning, you don't hit the gas pedal knowing that you're going to die at the end of the road and possibly take other lives along the way. Smoking cigarettes, on the other hand, is exactly what I just described.

I can see where to draw the line with all that in mind.

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100
2 votes,
Feb 17, 2016

"cigarettes do not offer anything besides death"

Hate to say you're wrong but smoking may offer a limited degree of protection in some individuals against the development of a small number of diseases, ulcerative colitis, parkinson's disease, endometrial cancer and uterine fibroids, pre-eclampsia, thyroid cancer, skin cancer, it also may help with some psychiatric symptoms, and may improve cognitive performance.

So like most things in life there is bad and good, I'm not saying everyone should smoke, but it is unfair that cigarette offer nothing but death. Does the bad outweigh the good, in the case of smoking I'd say yes, but as an adult shouldn't you have the freedom to do as you wish as long as you basically not directly harming someone else? Cars, like cigarettes, indirectly cause harm to others, up to and including death. In the US about 35,000 people per year die from car accidents alone, and that's not counting deaths from the pollution they cause. World wide there are about 1.25 million deaths per year from car accidents, again not counting deaths from the pollution they cause, cigarettes kill about 6 million per year.

I know I'm not going to change your mind, fair enough, but once you start saying ban this because it's bad, you have to ask who gets to decided what's bad and how bad does it have to be to ban it? Again yes there should be ban on smoking on publicly owned property, and places where you have no choice but to go there, court, DMV etc. other than that I feel people have the freedom to do as they wish, even if it's bad for them.

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100
1 vote
Jul 15, 2016

No.

Not only does making drugs illegal tend to make them taboo, but people have the right to put what they please into their body.

Cigarettes should be regulated: their production, their packaging, their advertisement can all be appropriately controlled. But they should be available for adults.

Moreover, I am even against the recent raising of the cigarette smoking age to 21. The notion that three years after 18 magically causes a huge spurt of maturity is ludicrous.

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0
0 votes
Jun 29, 2016

There is no sence to make cigarettes by illegal way..

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100
main reply
1 vote,
Jul 13, 2016

The question asks: "do you think the consumption of cigarettes should become illegal?"; not: "do you think they should be manufactured in a illegal manner?"

So, what do you think?

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0
0 votes,
Jul 13, 2016

as you know cigarette's smoke for those who not smoke does more damage. and this is bad for our children. and i gave up this, I do not smoke nearly 2 months

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0
User voted No.
0 votes
Jan 15

Why would you make them illegal?

So they can be black-marketed and start the whole nonsense "drug war" and "alcohol prohibition" thing with a whole new product?

See how well those two worked?

No. Education is working - keep the ball rolling forward.

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