How to extinguish the smoking epidemic
Even with 500,000 deaths per year, countless cases of smoking-related illnesses including cancer and lung disease, and even direct warnings on tobacco packaging, some 34 million people in the US smoke cigarettes. That’s about 1/10 of the current population.
Smoking has more far-reaching effects than you might realize. Aside from damaging the smokers’ bodies and personal health, smoking can damage property, other people’s health, and even the environment. It’s high time we addressed this harmful and toxic habit once and for all and extinguish the smoking epidemic.
We’ll discuss some of the effects of smoking on the world, public health, and property, as well as steps that we can all take to help put down the habit once and for all.
The Effects Of Smoking
Some people adopt the attitude of “live and let live”. Smoking only hurts the smoker, so let them smoke! What’s the problem? Well, the problems that smoking causes for public health and the environment are numerous. Here are just a few:
Poor Air Quality: Second-hand smoke will cause some of the same ailments you’d get from first-hand smoke. It pollutes the air around it, sticks to surfaces, and makes everything smell. Aside from the smell, you’ll have to worry about being exposed to thousands of dangerous chemicals from breathing in someone else’s smoke.
Public Health: Smoking puts a serious burden on the healthcare system. Every year, billions of dollars are spent on smoking-related illnesses. Smoking causes cancer, lung disease, heart complications, and more; adding to the epidemic that is heart disease. Heart disease is the #1 killer of adults in the US.
The Environment: Farming tobacco is an intensive process that involves plenty of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, many of which contain harmful chemicals. These chemicals end up in the soil and waterways and in your cigarettes. Not to mention, nearly one-third of all collected litter is cigarette butts.
Unsafe Workplaces: Allowing smoking in the workplace can put other people at risk and even cause a business to be at the mercy of legal ramifications. Employers have a duty to provide a safe workplace, and that’s not possible with second-hand smoke lingering in the air.
Big Tobacco Is Clever
So, given all of these effects, why do people still smoke? Big tobacco has spent decades cleverly advertising its products and ensuring that people don’t put down the habit. For years, smoking was viewed as classy, sexy, and trendy; if you didn’t smoke, you weren’t one fo the cool kids. Speaking of kids, subliminal messaging in cartoons and ads have been found to encourage smoking in children.
Big tobacco doesn’t care about your health or public safety. They’re out to make a profit, and to a tune of about $48 billion in 2019. Those are 48 billion reasons to continue to advertise, push, and convince people that tobacco products are what they need to be happy.
Big tobacco is trying harder than ever to stay on top, as tobacco-free alternatives make their way onto the market and threaten tobacco’s hold on the nation. Not mention, the CBD industry is booming, and CBD oils and capsules have actually been found to help people quit smoking altogether.
A Focus on Health
The first step to extinguishing this epidemic is to focus on health. In a society where heart disease kills more people than car accidents, gun violence, and natural causes, there’s a serious need to focus on health. Exercise, a good diet, and removing harmful habits like smoking is a good first step.
The best thing you can do is set an example, especially to the children in your life. It’s difficult to remember that kids watch everything we do and say, and our bad habits could very well rub off on them. You wouldn’t want your kids smoking, right?
Awareness is half the battle when it comes to ending smoking. It’s no secret that smoking is harmful and even deadly, but it seems to roll off of smokers’ backs. It’s important to keep the flow of information strong, and help people realize that they’re affecting more than just themselves when they decide to smoke.
Smoking can put everyone around you at risk. From kids to other adults, you’re exposing everyone in the same area as you to second-hand smoke, polluting the air, and adding to a public health crisis. It’s time to stop smoking for good.
It’s going to take all of us to beat this epidemic. Smoking is as engrained in American culture as beer and football, and it’s high time we changed that. No good comes from smoking! It puts people at risk, puts a burden on the healthcare system, and only causes damage to people and property. Time to put the cigarettes down and move towards a better future.