Smoking is a process through which people inhale or taste tobacco substances mostly rolled up in the form of a cigar. Smoking is one the main channel that people use as part of recreational drug abuse with tobacco being the common form of drug that is used. During the smoking process of tobacco, some toxic substances are released that pose health dangers to the smokers and the people in the surrounding environments. Mostly, smoking affects the respiratory system of the people involved in the act or even the people that are constantly within the smoking environments. Despite the health related problems resulting from smoking, the tobacco products have been the major sources of revenues in several countries for years. Additionally, tobacco industries have employed so many people directly and indirectly meaning that smoking has some strong benefits. Recently the issue of smoking has been controversial with many people preferring to stop the habit due to health concerns. The once prestigious tobacco industries have started to run in the recessive direction due to different public opinions about smoking. Some people are of the idea that smoking should be taxed instead of killing the industry completely while others feel that it is okay to ban smoking.
Reasons for Taxing Smoking
For several years, tobacco industries have been one on the largest sources of employment in the world both directly and indirectly. In the direct employment, several people have secured jobs in various sectors of the tobacco industries such as transport of products, marketing, processing, and quality control among others. According to the CorpWATCH (par. 1-6), close to a hundred thousand people are employed in various tobacco industries, and many hundreds of thousands serving at the tobacco farms that those companies own in America alone. Others are indirectly employed through the distributors that deal with tobacco products both raw and finished ones. The number of the people that have acquired indirect employment from tobacco processing could reach up to a million in America alone. Therefore, the sector is very influential in the world as a source of employment because of a large number of people depending on it. It is from this sector that many people are able to support their families through feeding them, educating them, and employing them to their personal businesses. If the sector is banned, many people could go jobless, and this could lead to a serious employment crisis in the world. For this reason, the sector should be taxed rather than abolishing it.
Secondly, many charitable foundations have cropped up since the tobacco industry started several decades ago. There are football foundations that the sector has sponsored in several states across the world. The football foundations have enabled many people to nurture their football talents thus securing chances in reputable soccer clubs and in the process attracting healthy incomes. There other several sporting foundations that the tobacco sector has sponsored, and the move has helped some nations to perform well in the sports. Additionally, the tobacco industry has contributed a lot in setting up education institutions across the world. The initiative is a boost to the education status of the citizens in the nation because it has reduced in one way the illiteracy level because of the available of learning facilities. The issue of scholarships to needy students is important because it has benefited several students. The other area that the sector has given considerable contribution is setting up of health institutions. The availability of the facilities has reduced the mortality rate and some people covering long distances in need of health services especially in the developing nations (Tobacco Tactics par. 1-10). Therefore, the sector has been beneficial in developing foundations that are crucial to citizens and the nations in generally and banning the smoking would kill the tobacco industry in the process wiping out these foundations.
Thirdly, several businesses have started courtesy of the tobacco industry ranging from transport to bars and restaurants. Business such as bars, fast food centers, and restaurants rely on the tobacco industry for revenues. The ventures sell cigarettes to the clients that turn up in huge numbers, and the result is a mutual benefit between the producers and sellers. The institutions buy the product from the manufacturers at low prices and sell at reasonably high prices to the clients at significant profit margins. Moreover, several media companies benefited from the promotion and advertisements carried by the tobacco industries. Through, the earnings from promotions and advertisements the sectors acquired funds to develop further. In 2006, American advertising corporate sectors raked in revenues in the range of US $ 6 billion. Additionally, the employees through the healthy earning from the tobacco industry have started small and medium industries in several nations. Similarly, many governments in the world have used the funds earned from the tobacco industry to establish and develop other business premises. Thus, the tobacco industry has played a pivotal role in establishing and developing other business sectors from small to large hence, the business should be allowed to run (Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis par. 1-8).
Fourthly, the industry has featured much in the efforts to improve economic status of many states in the universe. The revenues that governments get from the industries are relatively adequate to start other projects such education, electricity, health and many others. With many education institutions in the country, many people acquire the knowledge enough to assist them to endure well in their life after school hence improving their living standards. The governments have reduced internal, external borrowings thus boosting the status of the national kitty, and this is reflected in per capita income. The employment offered at the tobacco sectors and other related sectors have assisted many nations in reducing inter-dependency among the members of the societies. The tobacco industry has taken the initiative to upgrade the public infrastructures in the surrounding communities. The crimes related to unemployment such as robbery and corruption have also reduced in several nations partially because of the tobacco industry and its affiliate sectors that have absorbed a huge number of employees. If the smoking is banned, it would cripple the tobacco sector and its associates dependent on it, and this would trickle down to the loss of employments thus lowering the economic status of the nation at large. Instead, increasing taxation on smoking would assist the government to collect more revenues than when the industry is restricted from operating (Kenneth par. 5-35).
Fifth, smoking process itself is fun to its users and several habitual smokers use it to relieve stresses as they allege it has a trauma relieve factor. Tobacco has a substance known as nicotine that assists the smokers to stimulate their bodies when they absorb the substance into the blood stream. Several health experts also purport that nicotine helps to calm nerves, and these are the reasons that make smokers get addition and consequently developing fun. Etese (par. 4) added that Smoking improves social integration hence people who have developed the habit of smoking meet in the set smoking zones. In the smoking zones, different people interact and develop friendships thus strengthening unity, and that is the reason sociologist term the habit as social smoking. Additionally, smoking has an aspect of reducing weight and some people have reportedly turned to smoking in an effort to control their weights. The research has verified that the smokers are generally seven to ten pounds lesser than the non-smokers are because smoking reduces appetite consequently translating to the loss in weight. Additionally, smoking assists some people to think properly because the research has revealed that the behavior eliminates any form of distractions in the minds (Etese par. 11-17). Therefore, everyone should be considered when trying to solve the dilemma of smoking and the best way to strike balance is taxing tobacco products rather than impose a ban on them.
Reasons for Banning Smoking
However, a large number of people are supporting the idea of imposing a total ban on smoking because several problems encountered related to smoking. One of the major reasons is deterioration of health to both active and passive smokers alike. Smoking is believed to cause several respiratory diseases such as asthma, lung and mouth cancers to the active and passive smokers. The habitual smokers also face a problem of reduced immunity meaning that they are in a greater danger of experiencing heath related problems compared to the non-smokers. The other reason is that the smokers develop weak immunities due to a considerable loss of appetite that obviously lead to the reduction of essential nutrients in their bodies. Their fertility reduces due to toxic substances such as nicotine with males having low libidos and women may suffer from infertility and premature births. In 1993, the heath care department of America reported having used more than $ 16 billion dollars to treat smoking related diseases. To make the matters worse smoking is one of the leading causes of deaths in the world and from the facts one could conclude that smoking is doing more harm than good. The health experts in the world estimate that America alone loses more than 480,000 lives annually on average from smoking related diseases (CDC).
Secondly, the research shows smoking changes behaviors of several people hence conceiving people of ill characters. Smoking has a strong peer influence as some people tend to copy the behavior from their friends posing allegations merely on unity and respect for each other. People who develop the habit of smoking gradually grow psychological dependency as they could not think or do anything without smoking. For some people to do start their jobs, they have to smoke to gain morale as nicotine as known as one of the most addictive stimulants. When smokers get into deep addictions, they become weak and loses the ability to do jobs and occasionally finding themselves jobless due to their low levels of productivity. To support smoking, the addicts have to look for ways to get money to buy the cigarettes and some of these means are robbery and other illegal activities that bring easy cash. Additionally, a big number of the smokers eventually involve themselves in abuse of other drugs such as bang, heroin, alcohol, cocaine among others. Some addicts lose the meaning of life and do not bathe or change clothes in the process become dirty and unbearable to the general society. The psychological trauma and gradual behavior change among a good number of members of the society are clear convictions that smoking should be banned (National Institute of Drug Abuse par. 1-12).
Thirdly, smoking has affected economic status of several nations and individuals alike despite it being a source of revenue. The governments have incurred a lot of costs when trying to control diseases related to smoking. For instance, America spent $ 133 billion while treating the adults who acquired smoking related diseases between 2009 and 2012 and lost further $ 156 billion due to loss of productivity of the same patient during the same period. Similarly, the country lost an estimated $ 5.6 billion from 2006 to 2012 from the reduction of productivity of the passive smokers. Similar statistics has been recorded in many other states around the world thus calling for attention to solve the fate of the controversial venture (CDC). The other areas that the governments lose money is during the awareness campaigns to enlighten people on economic and health related problems. The governments spend billions of dollars annually to run the campaigns, the money that would otherwise be used in developing other sectors. According to a CDC report, increasing taxes by 10% on tobacco products does not solve the problem since the number of smokers reduced by 3 to 5 percent but the ban seemed to work well with significantly large numbers quitting smoking. The huge expenses incurred do not measure up with the revenues that smoking brings thus banning smoking would have long-term benefits.
Finally, smoking has brought about conflicts both in the society and at domestic levels. In the recent past, the cases of domestic conflicts have been rampant with a significant percentage linked to smoking habits. Manly young people have turned to the smoking habit as part of their recreation and in the process overstepping some of their domestic mandates that usually leads to violence with their parents. Some of the young people extend to the habits of abusing hard drugs a vice that make the addicts isolate themselves from the rest of their family members causing stress to them. The situation worsens when the addicts fall ill and die because the scenario leaves the families of the deceased with grieve and sometimes coupled with financial trauma. In other disciplines, some parents fail to support their families financially when they lose productivity followed by loss of jobs. The problem could lead to frequent conflicts for instance between the husbands and wives and could conceive bigger problems such as divorce among others. Additionally, smoking sometimes leads to health related problems such as low sexual performances. Lack of sexual satisfactions could lead to the breach of the virtue of faithfulness among the couples that mainly results to separations and divorces. If the problem of smoking is properly addressed, and this means banning it and not taxing, these conflicts could reduce by a great margin (Leland, Ichiro and Subramania 2-6).
In conclusion, smoking has become a controversial source of income because of its double-edged nature. Smoking has several advantages attached to it among them being the employment opportunities both direct and indirect thus improving the living standards of several people across the globe. The sector has reduced the interdependence level among the members and consequently reducing the vices related to unemployment. Additionally, many countries have benefited from huge revenues generated by the tobacco industries and its affiliate businesses thus boosting their national kitties. Several business sectors have cropped up in various nations courtesy of the tobacco industries. The charitable foundations are other important landmarks that make people recognize the vital role played by the tobacco industries in an effort to boost the world economy. Some people usually take smoking as a recreational activity where they meet with new people and socialize thus promoting unity. However, the ugly part of the sector is the number of problems that people have encountered. The problems include the domestic conflicts, huge government expenditures in treating smoking related diseases and moral deficiency to mention but a few. The problems seem to have more weight the advantages that come along with smoking hence banning smoking could have long-term benefits than simplify taxing the tobacco products because it is no reliable in reducing the problems.
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