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Hasina

Should Cigarettes Be Illegal?

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Both alcohol and tobacco have minor benefits that can be gotten other ways and huge harms, so they should both be simply unavailable except maybe under prescription. As a practical matter the way things are this would not work -- you would only give organized crime more things to make money from.

There are things that could be done but won't be done because of the political power of the alcohol and tobacco industries. The first would be to nationalize them, taking away the profit motive in their use. The second would be to de-brand them, removing status and glamor and all that junk from their use. The third would be to price them as high as possible, keeping close tabs on the appearance of black markets (which would be used as the indicator that prices are too high).

Other efforts -- school education, anti-smoking programs originating in the medical profession, public interest messages, and research to find ways to help people break addictions, are all also needed.

Considering the toll in suffering and death these products cause, that society takes such a relaxed attitude is an abomination.

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Both alcohol and tobacco have minor benefits that can be gotten other ways and huge harms, so they should both be simply unavailable except maybe under prescription. As a practical matter the way things are this would not work -- you would only give organized crime more things to make money from.

There are things that could be done but won't be done because of the political power of the alcohol and tobacco industries. The first would be to nationalize them, taking away the profit motive in their use. The second would be to de-brand them, removing status and glamor and all that junk from their use. The third would be to price them as high as possible, keeping close tabs on the appearance of black markets (which would be used as the indicator that prices are too high).

Other efforts -- school education, anti-smoking programs originating in the medical profession, public interest messages, and research to find ways to help people break addictions, are all also needed.

Considering the toll in suffering and death these products cause, that society takes such a relaxed attitude is an abomination.

I agree with you that considering the toll in suffering and death that these products cause, the relaxed attitude society takes on them is an abomination. I just do not think that government can legislate and solve societal problems. Societal issues like this can only be tackled at the grassroots individual level. What government should do is educate educate educate, not scare, just educate and teach everyone the truth about these products. As soon as they start using scare tactics they lose credibility. Educate people on the simple truth of what these things do to the body and mind, and let the people chose for themselves. Nobody is forcing you to smoke or drink (I would hope) and I think laws to protect those who do not smoke from second hand smoke in public places is good, but people need to feel empowered to make their own decisions. As soon as government steps in and acts like a parent telling us what not to do and punishing us if we don't listen it takes away that empowerment and makes it a chore. If one moral philosophy is better than another, educate the people and they will take the higher path in great numbers on their own accord, and feel empowered for doing so. I have never heard a good argument for banning substances like this, banning is just a feel good measure that those who's moral philosophy is one of fear and prejudice take.

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I never proposed banning; please re-read what I posted and respond accordingly.

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If you are going to ban smoking you also need to ban cars, buses, airplanes, lawn mowers and everything that burns any sort of fuel. Between America, China and India I would think the emissions from those items do more damage to more people than all the smokers in the world. The law enforcement aspect alone is ludicrous. The black market has happened to some extent here in Florida due to a huge tax increase. Nice to know the cops can stop that but unfortunate for anyone killed while trying to steal, sell or buy illegal cigarettes. Then again the people who do not smoke will not mind paying more in taxes for the lack collected from the evil smokers too. All the while you can get drunk off your a55 and drive down the road and kill someone. Sure it is illegal but what difference does that make to the folks you just killed? I have never heard of an epidemic of smoking and driving killing people, no more than eating and driving or doing makeup and driving. JMO.

Just wanted to add, I have no hatred for drinkers or smokers. Already there are enough laws as to where you can and cannot smoke and I agree with them.

Edited by Esoteric Toad

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Considering the toll in suffering and death these products cause, that society takes such a relaxed attitude is an abomination.

I think 'abomination' is just a tad overwrought here; I don't see any relaxed attitude towards either tobacco or alcohol at least in the US, short of Prohibition I don't think it's ever been any less relaxed. Just in my lifetime the attention on and legal penalties for drunk driving have increased manyfold, let alone the obvious restrictions on smoking and the ever-increasing prohibitions on where smokers may smoke.

One of the main objections I have to your analysis is that you don't seem to be acknowledging how much pleasure these products cause. I seriously doubt that you would be receptive to someone coming in and analyzing your life and the things that you inevitably engage in that are harmful and can cause suffering and death, and that you would then agree with them that you should not be engaging in them. Do you curtail your driving to only the absolute essentials, I'm sure you realize how dangerous driving is? Any analysis of what risks are necessary and acceptable is of course going to be subjective, but I'm not sure why you wouldn't allow smokers and those who like to drink the same leeway to determine their own acceptable risks. Especially smoking, which typically only harms the person who smokes.

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Well if we are to look at it objectively, we can see that tobacco is a drug. We can see that it is more addictive than heroin, it is also far more detrimental to health, and causes far more deaths. We can see that it is completely off the charts when compared in the same ways to cannabis.

If one is illegal - one that is far less dangerous - then why shouldn't the other be illegal? Or, more to the point: if one is legal, then why shouldn't the other, far less dangerous one be so too?

They should be legal because people should be allowed to put whatever they want into their bodies, but they should stop moving the goalposts when it comes to different substances.

Urban Myth!! Heroin is not only more addictive, it is also a mind - altering drug... How many prosecutions and crimes are committed because someone needs to meet their need for a Cigarette? Compare that with the crimes committed due to people needing a Heroin Fix!!! If there was any truth in Nicotine being more addictive than Heroin then do you not think that it would be used as a Defense in Criminal Trials??

As a nicotine addict myself, I would have no problems with a total Cigarette ban, I would get on with life, probably a bit irritably at the start, but I know I would be benefitting myself in the long run, and those around me. Thereby hangs the difference... a nicotine addict does not lose all sense of reality

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How about instead of banning anything, even hard drugs, the government licenses these things? Every year, or two, you'd need to go in and get electronicly delivered proof from a doctor that you are fit enough to use tobacco, hard liquor, pot, or drugs without hurting yourself. This would be a mental and physical exam. Maybe government sponsored so that Insurance rates would not change. Just like a Drivers License, drinking alcohol, smoking cigs and pot, or using various drugs would be a regulated privilage and not a Right. This way only those people who can use the substance safely would have access to it. Sure, they then could sell it to Minors or the Mentally Challenged, but that would be a minor crime like it is now, and punishible similarly.

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i smoked for 25 years, quit myself , cold turkey, had not had a cigarette since 2009.

before that no amount of "education". or laws would make me quit,

a person quits when he wants it bad enough, if you say you can't cuz it is hard......., b.s. there is only 1 reason, you don't want to quit bad enough,

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How about instead of banning anything, even hard drugs, the government licenses these things? Every year, or two, you'd need to go in and get electronicly delivered proof from a doctor that you are fit enough to use tobacco, hard liquor, pot, or drugs without hurting yourself. This would be a mental and physical exam. Maybe government sponsored so that Insurance rates would not change. Just like a Drivers License, drinking alcohol, smoking cigs and pot, or using various drugs would be a regulated privilage and not a Right. This way only those people who can use the substance safely would have access to it. Sure, they then could sell it to Minors or the Mentally Challenged, but that would be a minor crime like it is now, and punishible similarly.

Doing what you are saying would not change anything. There would still be a huge lucrative black market for these substances because many people would not be able to get a license to use them, but would just still use them anyways. The black market would thus be opened up to anyone who was able to get a license, and more people would become dealers, because the money would be too easy. No meaningful change would come about if you did this. Plus, doctors would be corrupted by the easy money as well, there would arise doctors who would license you for some cash. With driving, there are easy ways to enforce the licensing requirement because you use public roads if you drive and the police are on those roads, plus you have to register your vehicle, buy insurance, etc. With drugs, how would it be enforced? Would police go door to door asking, "hey are you using drugs, if so can I see your license?" It is just not going to happen, not going to work, it is a pipe dream- yet another 'feel good' measure that makes it look like things are changing for the better, when actually 10 years down the road people would once again be calling for change. People need to take responsibility for their own choices and responsibility for their own health, and the mentally ill need to have responsible people watching out for their well being. Until we have that, nothing will change. No matter how many laws or what kind of laws you pass. There is no way to legislate morality and no way to force people to make healthy decisions for themselves and their loved ones. There needs to be a culture/societal change started at the grassroots level that changes the hearts and minds of the people if you want this issue to be addressed in any REAL, MEANINGFUL, LASTING way.

Edited by Einsteinium

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Doing what you are saying would not change anything. There would still be a huge lucrative black market for these substances because many people would not be able to get a license to use them, but would just still use them anyways. The black market would thus be opened up to anyone who was able to get a license, and more people would become dealers, because the money would be too easy. No meaningful change would come about if you did this. Plus, doctors would be corrupted by the easy money as well, there would arise doctors who would license you for some cash. With driving, there are easy ways to enforce the licensing requirement because you use public roads if you drive and the police are on those roads, plus you have to register your vehicle, buy insurance, etc. With drugs, how would it be enforced? Would police go door to door asking, "hey are you using drugs, if so can I see your license?" It is just not going to happen, not going to work, it is a pipe dream- yet another 'feel good' measure that makes it look like things are changing for the better, when actually 10 years down the road people would once again be calling for change. People need to take responsibility for their own choices and responsibility for their own health, and the mentally ill need to have responsible people watching out for their well being. Until we have that, nothing will change. No matter how many laws or what kind of laws you pass. There is no way to legislate morality and no way to force people to make healthy decisions for themselves and their loved ones. There needs to be a culture/societal change started at the grassroots level that changes the hearts and minds of the people if you want this issue to be addressed in any REAL, MEANINGFUL, LASTING way.

Hey I agree. But, doing nothing is just worthless too. Making everything legal and regulation free would suck too.

regulating cigarettes works because very few people can make a cigarette from a tobacco plant. Same would work with any other substance. How many people can make good liquor? Bad liquor sure, but not many can make something good.

The war on drugs is not working. Not because it is wrong, but because it is being done so badly.

I believe you most certainly can legislate morality. The civil rights movement proved that. The key is in the enforcement and if it is a priority or not.

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Hey I agree. But, doing nothing is just worthless too. Making everything legal and regulation free would suck too.

regulating cigarettes works because very few people can make a cigarette from a tobacco plant. Same would work with any other substance. How many people can make good liquor? Bad liquor sure, but not many can make something good.

The war on drugs is not working. Not because it is wrong, but because it is being done so badly.

I believe you most certainly can legislate morality. The civil rights movement proved that. The key is in the enforcement and if it is a priority or not.

I absolutely disagree. The civil rights movement worked because it was started at a grassroots individual community level. If it has been started by legislation it would never have worked out like it did. Same goes for the women's rights movement. People's minds need to be changed FIRST, and legislation is not the facilitator for that, it is the product of it. The war on drugs is not working because they are focusing on the wrong things, instead of education and treatment for users they jail users. I do not think drugs should be totally legalized because our society is not able to handle having that much individual responsibility. There has to be regulation, but outright banning of drugs creates a lucrative black market for them that only criminals and banks profit from. That is the direct result of legislation attempting to fix a moral problem before that problem has been addressed in the minds of the majority of relevant people. It does not work, will not work, will never work. Proven by facts and data time and time again and yet we never seem to accept it as fact.

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Furthermore, if legislating morality worked- then we would not have to do anything else. There should be no murders, no rapes, no illegal drug use. IF legislating morality worked, we would live in a totally moral society by now. Because we do not, it is therefore evident that legislating morality does not work.

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Might as well make alcohol illegal again too...and cocaine, heroin, meth... oh wait. People still do those anyway, and they're illegal.

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Might as well make alcohol illegal again too...and cocaine, heroin, meth... oh wait. People still do those anyway, and they're illegal.

Making new laws doesn't stop law breakers from breaking laws? Nikki! Stop operating with logic! Do you not realize?! The government just wants you to be healthy if they're paying for your health! (Even though actually they're just taking your money and then shoving it back into your pocket, albeit with a hell of a lot less, but hey, you did your part to help~ right? Or it's spent on nonsense).

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Making new laws doesn't stop law breakers from breaking laws? Nikki! Stop operating with logic! Do you not realize?! The government just wants you to be healthy if they're paying for your health! (Even though actually they're just taking your money and then shoving it back into your pocket, albeit with a hell of a lot less, but hey, you did your part to help~ right? Or it's spent on nonsense).

idk, mam.

I think they are more concerned with you being healthy so you work longer, and pay more taxes, and not get on ssi, or disability. I really doubt they give a damn about your health just for the sake of you being healthy.

Edited by aztek

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idk, mam.

I think they are more concerned with you being healthy so you work longer, and pay more taxes, and not get on ssi, or disability. I really doubt they give a damn about your health just for the sake of you being healthy.

:| I was being facetious.

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Furthermore, if legislating morality worked- then we would not have to do anything else. There should be no murders, no rapes, no illegal drug use. IF legislating morality worked, we would live in a totally moral society by now. Because we do not, it is therefore evident that legislating morality does not work.

Yet, the opposite does not apply. Taking away morality laws does not prevent crime either. Should there be no punishement for rape or murder? Lack of morality laws would not make a society, if anything it promotes Anarchy.

Regulating stuff is called Civilization. Civilization does not exist without law/rules/order.

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Might as well make alcohol illegal again too...and cocaine, heroin, meth... oh wait. People still do those anyway, and they're illegal.

I know quite a few people who used to do a LOT of cocaine. They don't anymore... because they got caught and did Time. Now they stay away from it and away from those that do it.

The people who get caught selling or using drugs, and then go to prison, and then get out, and then get caught again, and do time again, and get caught again, and do time again... there is a name for them... idiots. Unable to Learn. They are not Folk Heros, they are very sad people who need Mental, Emotional, Physical and Spiritual help.

I totally agree with anyone that says we should help these people rather then just lock them up. But, that is the law right now, so that is what happens.

Cigs are basically the same thing. People have posted that tobacco is more addictive then pot, and many other "harder" drugs. Well that appears to be true. So why not ban or further regulate it? It is dangerous right? If pot is not legal, then why should cigs be legal? The logic runs both ways.

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WELL...I now have to move from the fourplex I am living in because I am highly allergic to pot smoke. A new tenant moved in and says she is not smoking it in the building, but we smell it quite often. She said that she agreed with the no smoking in the building before she moved in, and has smoked not only cigarettes in the building, but, pot, too. It is making both me and my daughter sick. How can someone be so selfish and callous to do this kind of thing? This kind of person makes other smokers look bad, and it is a shame because I have been around some great smokers who don't smoke around others just because they can.

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Yet, the opposite does not apply. Taking away morality laws does not prevent crime either. Should there be no punishement for rape or murder? Lack of morality laws would not make a society, if anything it promotes Anarchy.

Regulating stuff is called Civilization. Civilization does not exist without law/rules/order.

I agree with you here. You are right that taking away morality laws does not prevent crime and I never said it would. We need to have rules and laws in order to live in a civilized society but in my opinion that make certain things criminal, that throw people in jail for say, possessing tobacco illegally, or give them a criminal record, making it harder for them to find employment, are not good laws. I personally think that people should only be thrown in jail or given criminal records for crimes that hurt other people directly, such as fraud, theft, murder, assault, etc. Why do you think it is that we are #1 in the world for a developed nation in terms of % of people in prison? Is this what you want? Banning tobacco and making it criminal would only make otherwise good people into criminals and fill our jails and prisons with people most of whom should not even be there.

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WELL...I now have to move from the fourplex I am living in because I am highly allergic to pot smoke. A new tenant moved in and says she is not smoking it in the building, but we smell it quite often. She said that she agreed with the no smoking in the building before she moved in, and has smoked not only cigarettes in the building, but, pot, too. It is making both me and my daughter sick. How can someone be so selfish and callous to do this kind of thing? This kind of person makes other smokers look bad, and it is a shame because I have been around some great smokers who don't smoke around others just because they can.

Because she only cares about her own body and not yours or your daughter's. It is called being a selfish liar and everyone sees it thousands of times every day. Because recent generations are not givers, they are takers, and concerned with their self above all else.

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WELL...I now have to move from the fourplex I am living in because I am highly allergic to pot smoke. A new tenant moved in and says she is not smoking it in the building, but we smell it quite often. She said that she agreed with the no smoking in the building before she moved in, and has smoked not only cigarettes in the building, but, pot, too. It is making both me and my daughter sick. How can someone be so selfish and callous to do this kind of thing? This kind of person makes other smokers look bad, and it is a shame because I have been around some great smokers who don't smoke around others just because they can.

:( that is a difficult situation. I agree what a selfish tenant! It is extraordinarily rare to be allergic to pot smoke! I have never heard of anyone having that allergy before but I know that it is a real allergy.

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Because she only cares about her own body and not yours or your daughter's. It is called being a selfish liar and everyone sees it thousands of times every day. Because recent generations are not givers, they are takers, and concerned with their self above all else.

But why do you think I am a taker? I work very hard and I am a very respectful person! But alas, I am from 'that generation.' You know, the generation that our parents generation says are 'takers.' Well they are the ones who raised us! lol ;)

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Why do you think it is that we are #1 in the world for a developed nation in terms of % of people in prison? Is this what you want? Banning tobacco and making it criminal would only make otherwise good people into criminals and fill our jails and prisons with people most of whom should not even be there.

I think it partly because we are such a Legalistic nation. It is part of our culture. We value laws above individuals (Dispite the image of Americans as being individuals, we always will back those who have the law on their side.). We (regardless of the popular image) regard lawyers highly. Almost everyone in our upper government are lawyers. We attempt to sue people who spit at us, or who bump us on the street. We have complex legal rituals for just about everything... IE automobile accident: Like 5 forms of identification and proof of legal responsibility have to be exchanged. IE... Getting utilities turned on: You need several forms of ID, and a checking account, and probably proof of where you live, and maybe a credit check.

I think much of the rest of the "Industrialized" world is not nearly to fixated on laws and following laws and punishments.

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:( that is a difficult situation. I agree what a selfish tenant! It is extraordinarily rare to be allergic to pot smoke! I have never heard of anyone having that allergy before but I know that it is a real allergy.

I tried it in my youth. I was out in 5 mins and didn't move all night. The doctor told me to stay right away from it. I am also allerrgic to cigarette and wood smoke. It is a real pain in the ****, I will tell you. BUT the big part is, my choice to be smoke free is being taken away from me. That is what I find the most frustrating.

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