There are many tobacco users in New Zealand, but not all are aware that it is a drug, which means cigarettes is also a drug. We have the freedom to purchase these drugs over the counter at any service station and super markets. Smoking should be banned because it is as harmful and addictive to your body as illegal drugs, such as methamphetamine and cannabis. Tobacco related illnesses is a growing virus, which is spreading amongst the people around New Zealand and other countries in the world. Cigarettes, a sickness that people carry around in their pockets. Fighting towards reducing sickness should be an individual’s own personal goal. Tobacco is harmful to your health. By banning cigarettes and other form of tobacco sales, it would be an effective way to put a first step towards reducing sickness within people in our communities. Having similar punishment to users of cannabis and marijuana, should also apply to tobacco.
Tobacco should be illegal.
We could say our local service station attendants are drug dealers. They continuously deal all day long with customers who are looking for their next nicotine hit. Nicotine is the addictive substance in tobacco, which keeps its regular users addicted. Tobacco contains similar ingredients as illegal drugs, such as marijuana, methamphetamine and cocaine. Most people do not consider tobacco to be a drug though research show it is. Tobacco has nicotine while marijuana has tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), both giving its users a high. Marijuana and tobacco are both grown on the ground and then they are rolled into cigarettes, though one is legal and the other illegal. One puff is all it takes to trigger your central nervous system weather it is marijuana, cocaine, nicotine or tobacco. “Quitsmokingsupport.com” suggests that, Nicotine is the substance that affects you heavily. However, tobacco is legal. It is obvious that it influences your body negatively. At the end of the day, all these drugs do negative damage on us weather it is physically or emotionally.
Tobacco-related illnesses are an unfair Burden.
Tobacco-related illnesses is a rising problem which some of our fellow peers have to face. It is an unfair burden on the public health system funded by taxpayers (most of whom do not smoke). Banning tobacco would reduce the public health burden by reducing rates of lung, mouth and throat cancer and other smoking related illnesses. Most of us are aware how life threatening these diseases can be. Smoking also triggers many other health issues. According to “Centers of Disease Control and Prevention,” smoking causes other diseases to worsen. An asthmatic smoker is bound to have an asthma attack any time. Tobacco smoke is one of the most common triggers for an asthma attack. Victims of second hand smoking could also have an asthma attack, due to the exposure of the smoke. Asthma attacks could be mild, moderate or serious, meaning life threatening. All smokers are aware of the health risks yet they still smoke. By banning smoking, smokers could contribute their money towards other things that will help keep their minds diverted. In addition, giving free support from helplines should be injected into their lives. Tobacco alters a person’s thinking and judgement, which leads to health risks. Smokers risk themselves to short or long term illnesses.
Legal punishment for tobacco.
If smoking is banned and the users could be legally punished the way users of other illegal drugs are, its use would decline. The New Zealand police website informs us that, it is an offence to use or deal illegal drugs. The New Zealand law does have strict penalties to drug abuses and offences. From drug use to drug trafficking, all offences have their own punishment, which the law decides. Doing the same with tobacco could reduce the number of its users. This will benefit a smokers own personal income, the governments medical cost due to less illnesses and taxpayer’s money. Smoke free laws should be brought into place for a better environment and healthier New Zealanders. An example from 2005, Tobacco Control of the Smoke Free Law in Ireland found, “Approximately 46% of Irish smokers reported that the law had made them more likely to quit.” If smoke free laws are enforced in New Zealand, it could bring a good outcome and reduce the number of tobacco users here.
Legalize all drugs.
If tobacco is legal, why not legalize other drugs to, like methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana. It is possible that by legalizing these drugs, it could reduce the use of them as they are much easier to purchase now. An article in the Forbes magazine which I read, was about when Portugal decriminalized all drugs. A decade after this experiment, drug abuse is down by half. Health experts in Portugal said that the decision to treat addicts rather than punishing them is an experiment that has worked. Perhaps if New Zealand do a similar experiment to the Portuguese, it could cut the rate of drug abuse here. Though there are always negative outcomes that will rise due to drugs being legal. Anyone over the age of 18 could purchase any drug and provide them to minors. Young people in New Zealand are also consumers of drugs, though access being restricted due to their age. The last thing we want is young New Zealanders having easy access to strong class illegal drugs.
To conclude I fully back the idea of banning smoking in New Zealand. Tobacco use is high in our country. Around 5,000 people die each year in New Zealand because of smoking or second hand smoke exposure. That is 13 people a day. If we include other countries, that is about 5 million each year. That is a larger number then the population of New Zealand. Tobacco or any other illegal drug is poison, it makes an individual closer to their death bed each time it is consumed. Changing tobacco to an illegal substance should be an action New Zealand put into place soon.
Commonly Abused Drugs. (April, 2016). Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/commonly-abused-drugs-charts
Dlende. (May 27, 2009). Tobacco Worse Than Cocaine? Retrieved from http://neuroanthropology.net/2009/05/27/tobacco-worse-than-cocaine/
Health effects of smoking. (June 12, 2015). Retrieved from http://www.health.govt.nz/your-health/healthy-living/addictions/smoking/health-effects-smoking
Kain. E. Ten Years After Decriminalization, Drug Abuse Down by Half in Portugal. (July 5, 2011). Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/erikkain/2011/07/05/ten-years-after-decriminalization-drug-abuse-down-by-half-in-portugal/#6e5f32625ac2
Overviews of Diseases/Conditions. (December 3, 2015). Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/diseases/