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The Tobacco Industry; Smoking Should be Illegal
In the late 1400s, Europeans were the first to cultivate and discover tobacco. Since then the substance has become a widespread across the globe, from first becoming an economic standard, to becoming a fully developed tobacco industry in the 1700s (Cancer Council, N/D). Previously tobacco was chewed on, but today tobacco is smoked by inhaling and exhaling a tobacco product or a drug substance. Since the discovery, many have been warned of the highly negative affects it can have on both a smoker and non-smoker, however the tobacco industry thrives off its consumers whose health are declining because of its products. First, the industry has a wide range of products which are distributed in many stores that slowly allow consumers, both current and potential, to become accustomed to smoking. Secondly, a consumer’s addiction to tobacco products is what creates a high demand in this yearned for brand. Lastly, the advertisements for smoking come across as an enticing trend amongst viewers. So, smoking comes with significant issues, yet the tobacco industry is profiting off of these matters and smoking is still legal.
To begin with, the wide range of tobacco products convince and allow consumers to become easily accustomed to the idea of smoking. In 2018, the cigarette market had an income of $888 Billion (USD) globally, and it is predicted that by 2024 the market will be worth $1124 Billion (USD) (Research and Markets, 2019). The success of the industry’s continual growth is due to the wide array of tobacco products that have been made available to consumers, both current and potential. Examples of the industry’s products include filter, menthol, and clove cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and furthermore. These products can also be classified as light, moderate or heavy cigarettes based on how strong the ingredients in the product is. This substantial product range promotes an easier way of smoking through its more ‘safer’ cigarettes which are the light and menthol cigarettes. These equally harmful cigarettes lure in potential consumers, particularly the younger audience, who want to begin smoking which potentially may lead them to start to use the more moderate cigarettes as smoking becomes more comfortable (The American Cancer Society medical and editorial team, 2015).
Equally, another cigarette product that is ‘safer’ are e-cigarettes, also known as vaping devices (electronical cigarette), these trendy gadgets are usually seen as harmless and more suitable for new consumers who want to get use to smoking (The American Cancer Society medical and editorial team, 2015). Similarly, these products are available in many outlets such as tobacco shops, supermarkets, convenience stores, and more. The convenience of these products have been made simply accessible so that a significant amount of different classed consumers can easily obtain the desired cigarette when feelings of withdrawal arise. The tobacco industry cleverly markets and distributes products in ways that are misleading to costumers and effortlessly accessible across various outlets. As a consumer smokes more regularly an addiction can start to form.
Secondly, consumers that are addicted to smoking create heavy demands on tobacco products that continue to benefit the income of the tobacco industry. The ongoing growth of smokers is due to the stressful aspects in a consumer’s life. Around the world an approximate amount of 6.5 trillion cigarettes are issued out to the wide range of diverse classed consumers (Martin, T, 2018). It is known that smoking eases the mind of a consumer that may be experiencing or going through challenging times. Cigarettes contain nicotine, which is implemented into the products, so it comforts a smoker. This drug causes brain and body to receive messages travelling throughout the body at a high speed. The more a user continues to inhale the product for its comfort the more they become dependent on it, which leads to an addiction (Alcohol and Drug Foundation, 2019). So, once addicted, cigarettes become a necessity to a user’s mental and emotional state which allows the industry to continue to profit off of its consumers growing health problems regardless of the negative impact it can have.
An ongoing cycle of this smoking addiction rotates; a user will gain feelings of uneasiness which then leads to smoking a cigarette, the cycle rotates continuing the process of addiction. While people smoke to cope with the everyday life, it can lead a consumer’s wellbeing to the danger zone. This can slowly lead on more serious mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, etc. (Alcohol and Drug Foundation, 2019). As a smoker’s mental health starts to become more heightened the more cigarettes that are being consumed, which causes the tobacco industry to distribute more products each day which becomes advantageous for them. While these tobacco products help sooth a user’s mind it continues to deteriorate the consumer’s health.
To continue on, in some parts of the world smoking is restricted in particular areas, but it does not change the idea that it continues to bring a significant amount of health problems and even affect those who are non-smokers. The restriction of smoking in certain areas does not change that smoking affects the lives of many. Across Australia, the VicHealth Centre (2003) states that the Governments “have progressively enacted legislation to reduce the devastating impact that tobacco products and smoking has had on public health”. Amongst many states in Australia, governments have introduced laws to better control the risks of health issues that arise due to smoking (VicHealth Centre for Tobacco Control, N.D). From New South to the Northern Territory to Queensland, many states have banned smoking in enclosed area to outdoors areas (Grace, C, 2019). Examples of these areas include business premises, restaurants, schools, community centres, parks, swimming pool centres, and furthermore. Other states in Australia which include the Australian Capital Territory, South Australia, and Tasmania, have implemented legislation that completely bans smoking in casinos and all enclosed areas (Grace, C, 2019). This causes consumers to take the appropriate steps as to where smoking is allowed to be considered. The Australian Capital Territory in particular has one of the lowest smoking rates in Australia”, but this does not change that smoking continues to affect the lives of many people. Smoking takes the lives of more than 8 million (World Health Organization, 2019). The World Health Organization (2019) states that out of the 8 million, “1.2 million are the result of non-smokers exposed to second hand smoke”. So, the constant demands of cigarettes amongst consumers is negatively affecting them and others who are surrounded. The idea is smoking leads consumers to continually assist themselves to keep emotions under control being fully dependant on this substance. Although Governments are implementing legislations to reduce the highly negative impact on the public, it should simply make smoking illegal to receive a better result. Thus, the industry portrays smoking to be appealing to its audience in order to receive an impressive income.
Lastly, the tobacco industry advertises its products to come across as trendy and appealing amongst customers in various ways. Today, advertising is everywhere, on street signs, in movies, on television, social media, even at the bus stop, the level of advertising the tobacco industry goes for is significant. Each year the industry spends billions to create the perfect tobacco advert as exciting, trendy, and safe. A lot of the times smoking can be viewed in video games, tv and online. For example, a certain character in a tv show may be seen smoking casually whilst they talk to a friend or a video game may contain a short segment where a video is displayed showing two soldiers smoking casually. The media has a big influence in today’s society and the tobacco industry uses deceptive ways to appeal to a wider audience.
Mitchell A (2008) outlines, “When celebrities smoke cigarettes on screen or are caught by the paparazzi smoking in public, they send a powerful message to our youth that smoking is both cool and acceptable”. A significant number of online users use social platforms to promote a brand to gain earnings through followers and financial income. A common way influencers do this is by posting a picture of themselves using the product. A famous influencer of today, Kylie Jenner, has been found posting up a picture of herself posing with a cigarette in her hand to promote for business purposes (Pham, J, 2017). These various advertising strategies are viewed by a wide range of viewers such as young teenagers to adults (The American Cancer Society medical and editorial team, 2015). The way smoking adverts are displayed influences a viewer that smoking is ‘ok’ and is not as harmful as it seems. Those viewers who are more exposed to smoking advertisements may slowly find a liking to the idea of smoking (The American Cancer Society medical and editorial team, 2015). So, the media plays a significant role in the tobacco industry’s marketing. A substantial amount of people are surrounded by the media, and the smoking adverts that are viewed by a widespread of a population can encourage them to begin smoking which will impact a potential customer’s life. However, the tobacco industry are the ones who seek the benefits.
In conclusion, the reason smoking is not illegal is due the significant amount of money the tobacco industry successfully makes off of the deteriorating lives of its consumers. So, the industry should stop the idea of weaker cigarettes so that the younger population aren’t influenced by the easily accustomed idea of smoking. Also, consumers should make the effort to seek assistance through qualified professionals, such as a therapist or psychologist, to reduce the cause of a smoking addiction. Similarly, the tobacco industry should decrease the level of excitement in advertisements so that viewers aren’t wrongly mislead. The industry needs to improve on not misleading its consumers for its ongoing success since smoking will continue to be legal.
- Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF), Last updated 28th June 2019, ‘Nicotine’, Alcohol and Drug Foundation (ADF), https://adf.org.au/drug-facts/nicotine/, Accessed 31st August.
- Cancer Council, N.D, ‘A Brief History of Smoking’, Cancer Council, https://www.cancercouncil.com.au/31899/uncategorized/a-brief-history-of-smoking/, Accessed 22nd August 2019.
- Grace, C, Et al, Last updated July 2019, ‘Legislation to ban smoking in public spaces’, Tobacco in Australia, https://www.tobaccoinaustralia.org.au/chapter-15-smokefree-environment/15-7-legislation/table-15-7-1-implementation-dates-aus#ACT, Accessed 6th September 2019.
- Help to Quit, Last updated April 2018, ‘Why do People Smoke’, Help to Quit, https://www.helptoquit.com.au/smoking-facts/why-do-people-smoke, Accessed 28th August 2019.
- Martin, T, Last updated 6th November 2018, ‘Smoking Statistics From Around the World’, Verywellmind, https://www.verywellmind.com/global-smoking-statistics-for-2002-2824393, Accessed 28th August 2019.
Martin, an advocate for those who desire to stop smoking, is a former writer of Verywell Mind. She has experienced smoking and has quit after 26 years of the addictive substance. Her writings are current and have been updated recently. Her article contains research with a bibliography that displays where most of the information was gathered from. This source successfully assists a person who is studying the impacts smoking has around the world.
- Mitchell, A, Last updated 5th February 2008, ‘The Influence of Celebrities Who Smoke’, Healthcentral, https://www.healthcentral.com/article/the-influence-of-celebrities-who-smoke, Accessed 7th September 2019.
- Pham, J, Last updated 2017, ‘Kylie Jenner Is Getting Dragged for Smoking Again’, Stylecaster, https://stylecaster.com/kylie-jenner-smoking-instagram/, Accessed 7th September 2019.
- Research and Markets, Last updated 19th February 2019, ‘Global Cigarette Market 2018-2019 & 2024: The Market was Worth US$ 888 Billion in 2018 and is Projected to Reach a Value of $1,124 Billion by 2024’, Cision PR Newswire, https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/global-cigarette-market-2018-2019--2024-the-market-was-worth-us-888-billion-in-2018-and-is-projected-to-reach-a-value-of-1-124-billion-by-2024--300797851.html, Accessed 22nd August 2019.
- Sharma, R, Last updated 27th February 2015, ‘3 Reasons Why Tobacco Is the Most ‘Successful’ Industry in History’, Showbiz Cheatsheet, https://www.cheatsheet.com/money-career/3-reasons-why-tobacco-is-the-most-successful-industry-in-history.html/, Accessed 30th August 2019.
- The American Cancer Society medical and editorial content team, Last updated 13th November 2015, ‘Why People Start Smoking and Why it’s Hard to Stop’, American Cancer Society, https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/tobacco-and-cancer/why-people-start-using-tobacco.html , Accessed 22nd August 2019.
The Medical and Editorial content team, of the American Cancer Society, is a group of qualified doctors, nurses, journalists, editors, and translators who are highly knowledgeable within cancer care and writings about medical matters. The source is credible and uses other relevant research to back up the information throughout. This source is relevant to students who are studying tobacco and the effects it can have on an individual.
- VicHealth Centre for Tobacco Control, N.D, ‘Australian tobacco control legislation’, Acosh, https://www.acosh.org/law-policy/australian-tobacco-control-legislation/, Accessed 6th September 2019.
- World Health Organization (WHO), Last updated 26th July 2019, ‘Tobacco’, World Health Organization (WHO), https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/tobacco, Accessed 22nd August 2019.
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