The Legal Death Sentence
“There was a young lady named Mae. Who smoked without stopping all day; As pack followed pack, her lungs first turned black, and eventually rotted away” (Edward Gorey). Cigarettes are known to be extremely harmful and lethal to those who smoke and even to those who don't. Yet, the United States government refuses to acknowledge the idea that cigarettes should be made illegal. Each year, an estimated 443,000 people die from smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke (observe the pie chart below from CDC), and another 8.6 million live with a serious illness caused by smoking (443,000 people die from smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke (CDC). This is a walking addiction that is accepted throughout society and needs to be changed.
As defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a cigarette is a “thin cylinder of finely cut tobacco rolled in paper for smoking”. However, what it lacks to include is what exactly is in that finely cut tobacco. The list of chemicals in a cigarette go on and on, but here a short list of a few: Nicotine (used as insecticide), Acetone (found in nail polish remover), Acetic Acid (an ingredient in hair dye), Ammonia (a common household cleaner), Arsenic (used in rat poison), Benzene (found in rubber cement), Butane (used in lighter fluid), Cadmium (active component in battery acid), Formaldehyde (embalming fluid), Lead (used in batteries), Methanol (a main component in rocket fuel), Tar (material for paving roads) and Toluene (used to manufacture paint). This list may seem overwhelming, but it is short compared to the complete list of 601 ingredients. That’s not even including the list of over 7,000 in cigarette smoke (American Cancer Society).
Why do people even start smoking? A major answer to that is because of peer pressure. 80% of adults started regularly smoking cigarettes before the age of 18 (the word “regularly” being defined as smoking at least once a day every day for 30 days). In fact, every day,...