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Eli I. Goodman Headshot

Smoking Can Be Stopped By a Lot of Money, But How Much Would You Pay?

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Hey you. Yeah, you. Didn't you see the tar on the streets today? Didn't that tar look sooo delicious? Didn't you just want to lick it -- or even better -- smeer it all over your insides? Of course you couldn't lick that nice old tar because a car would run your head flat! Wait, you can still smeer that tar over your insides: all you have to do is smoke! Smoking is a disgusting way to smeer tar all over yourself. Now get a two-for-one deal because if you're around other people they get smeered too! Don't sweat it, though, because if you think dying is cool, there is a built in feature that slowly, painfully kills you. Buy now, spend all your money!

Really, all cigarette adds should be like that (first, the safety issue, second, the joke). Now why do people smoke? Read the last two lines: "built in feature that slowly, painfully kills you" and then "buy now, spend all your money." Do you even know what's in cigarettes? There are about 4,000 different chemicals -- 50 of these are proven by scientists to be cancerous, and oh, don't mind the little bits here and there that are POISONOUS! Oh, and don't forget the components of fuel (this includes poisonous rocket fuel). Oh, and of course that good ol' tar -- the thing that we PAVE THE STREETS WITH! And a good chemical that came from that cleaner with a warning label. AND THAT'S JUST THE BEGINNING! Do not smoke U.S. cigarettes because they have more cancer-causing agents than three other countries, but what I have to say is this: just the fact that cigarettes are cancerous at all should be enough to keep you away from them. Here's a fun, no deadly fact: by 2030, the yearly death toll could surpass 8 million people if things continue as they are.

The essay doesn't stop there. The first bit of business is this picture:

smokers lung

On the left we have a nice pink healthy lung and on the right we have a smoker's lung. Look at the picture of the lung of death. It can be your own, if you smoke.

OK, that last paragraph was a little, let's just say -- dark! But it's true: when you are smoking in someone's presence, it is literally killing them. Exposure to secondhand smoke has proven to cause cancer. As for yourself, the side effects of smoking cigarettes are responsible for about 443,000 deaths in the U.S. per year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, $96 billion a year in medical costs results from tobacco use in addition to "$97 billion a year from lost productivity." Think about what you could do with those millions of dollars.

One option is to get rid of the thing that loses that much money every year: smoking. My idea to get rid of smoking is to take the snake by the neck. Don't ban tobacco (ask someone smart why that won't work), but wipe out ANY and ALL tobacco plants or tobacco seeds in existence. That way it is IMPOSSIBLE to have a tobacco farm. Unfortunately, this idea is flawed. First, it would take a lot of money to kill off all the tobacco plants. Second, people will always be able to grow tobacco in their backyards (some probably do).

You may be thinking "Well, that's terrible" because of the information I have written here. The worst thing is that tobacco preys on our youth. Almost 90 percent of all smokers start as teenagers. Because of this, we must find a way to protect the young, to make way for the future and for earth and its inhabitants.