Should Smoking Tobacco Be Classified As an Illegal Drug?


As per the World Health Organization approximations, there exist more than one billion smokers globally. As a result of these, and the financial and political supremacy enjoyed by most tobacco manufacturing companies, in almost all global societies, tobacco is one of the legal substances that are widely used.

In America alone, as research studies show, one in five Americans is a smoker, a figure which adds up to more than 40 million smokers (Hendrick 1-2). As a result of these, smoking-related illnesses account for more than four hundred and forty six thousand deaths annually.

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Further, annually the government spends millions of dollars to cater for the health needs of individuals suffering from tobacco related diseases. Although this is the case, the tobacco industry is one of the most profitable industries, a fact that has made it very hard for the government to illegalize the use of tobacco products (Maugh 1).

Therefore, although tobacco smoking is a practice that is legal and supported by a section of the community, there have been numerous calls to illegalize the practice, because of the different views and values that are held by most antagonists of the practice.

Views and Values Held By Antagonist of Tobacco Smoking

Although tobacco smoking is a legalized practice, there have been numerous calls by antagonist of this practice for the need to illegalize the practice. One of the factors cited by most antagonist of the practice is that, tobacco is one of the most harmful substances that have remained legal for a very long time. Annually, numerous deaths caused by tobacco smoking related illnesses occur in America, a fact that the government seems to ignore.

As research studies show, tobacco smoking is one of the deadliest practices, which accounts for more than forty percent of the total number of hospital illnesses. This has made the government to spend billions of dollars to cater for the needs of these patients; something which supporters of the illegalization campaign believe can be avoided if the government illegalizes smoking.

Another reason which supporters of the illegalization campaign put forward is that, as compared to illegalized substances such are marijuana, cigarettes contain nicotine one of the most addictive substances, which most individuals take without knowing its dangerous effects.

According to these groups, it is very unethical for cigarette manufacturing industries to advertise their products to the public while ignoring to tell them, the dangers associated with tobacco.

As per most health research findings, most individuals more so children and smokers live in environments, which are not protected from the effects of tobacco smoking, because of the inadequacies of the regulations managing tobacco smoking.

Therefore, as per them, there is need for communities to speak in one voice and protect future generations from the harmful effects of tobacco smoking by forcing the government to illegalize the practice (O’Dowd 1).

Views and Values Held By Supports of Tobacco Smoking

Contrary to the views held by most antagonist of the legality of cigarette smoking practice, most supporters of this practice believe that, every individual has the right of deciding what is best for their bodies. In addition, majority of the supporters of this practice strongly believe that, illegalizing the practice may worsen the situation, because it will lead to opening of black markets and springing up of criminal organizations.

In addition, supporters of this practice hold a notion that, illegalizing tobacco will be one of the taxing ventures that a government can indulge itself in, this will mean that the government has to be ready to spend more money on its criminal justice system and police departments.

In addition, these individual believe that, by illegalizing tobacco smoking the government has to ready to lose the millions of dollars, which it earns annually from the tobacco industry. Further, this will mean that it has to be ready to provide the enormous numbers of individuals who are likely to lose their jobs.

This is not practical considering the current unemployment status of the country; hence, illegalizing tobacco smoking, will be show of the not caring for its citizenry, a value that is cherished by those who oppose the illegalization campaigns (Nadelmann 1).


Considering the numerous value and views held by individuals who support tobacco smoking and those who strongly oppose the practice, it is important for the government to leave the discretion of whether to smoke or not to individuals. However, to ensure that individuals are making right decisions, it is import for tobacco industries in collaboration with the government to provide the public with enough information on the positive and negative effects of tobacco smoking.

Works Cited

Hendrick, Bill. Smoking rate is declining inn U.S. Web Med News. 13 Nov. 2008. Web. 14 Feb. 2011.

Maugh, Thomas. U.S. smoking rate hasn’t changed, CDC says. Los Angels Times. 8 Sept. 2010. Web. 14 Feb. 2011

Nadelmann, Ethan. Keep cigarettes legal. Huffington Post. 26 Oct. 2006. Web. 11 Feb. 2011.

O’Dowd, Adrian. Tobacco and alcohol should be classed as dangerous drugs. BMJ Online Journal. 2011. Web. 14 Feb. 2011.


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