A Journal for Western Man
When Smoking Gets in Your Eyes:
Separating the Facts from the Fiction
Paul Newman, Michael Mazur, Michael Gonzalez
Issue XIII- April 19, 2003
One reason smoking should be avoided is the myriad of harmful effects generated by the chemicals contained in cigarette smoke. Among them, nicotine keeps cigarettes addictive. In their ranks is also present a multitude of disease-causing agents. The author of Cigarettes are Poisonous notes, "Tobacco companies put these chemicals into cigarettes to reduce tar while maintaining the nicotine necessary to keep them addictive" (p.2). The author is making it clear that the tobacco companies do not care about the amount of chemicals in cigarettes. They only care about how to maintain the amount of nicotine that keeps people addicted to cigarettes. Furthermore, tobacco companies not only know that they put so many chemicals into their products, but that they also control how much nicotine they put into cigarettes. Author Richard Kluger has recently published a book that notes how cigarette companies know that they wield full authority over that amount. Kluger explains in the book "how the cigarette industry consciously controls and strengthens the nicotine levels in cigarettes" (p.2). This means that the cigarette companies know exactly what they are doing. They care about how to maximize the profit of their business. They are only concerned with getting people to become addicted to their products. Several of the thousands of chemicals, when released by smoke, cause cancer, which no one should suffer from. The Health Education Authority notes, "Tobacco smoke contains over 4000 different chemicals. At least 43 are known carcinogens (cause cancer in humans)." (p. 1). This means tha everyone who is in contact with cigarette smoke is at risk of getting diagnosed with cancer; both smokers as well as non-smokers are at risk. The carcinogens may not exhibit immediate effects, but prolonged exposure may ultimately cause health problems. Nicotine and carcinogens are the most dangerous chemicals that cigarettes have in them.
Another reason why smoking should be avoided at all costs is the susceptibility of youth to addiction. Teens and young adults could get addicted to smoking through advertising and peer pressure. Tobacco companies often look for the age group that is the most vulnerable to the initiation of smoking. The companies subsequently target that group through advertisements. Kluger, in his book, writes that tobacco companies are, "…focusing advertising on 10- 16 year olds knowing that that age group is the most easily hooked" (p.2).
that the tobacco companies are focusing their attention
on getting young people to try cigarettes. This age
group does not necessarily understand the dangers of
smoking. In effect, it is up to uninformed kids to say
that they would or would not like to try cigarettes.
Furthermore, the advertising is everywhere one goes,
including most magazines readily available to teens.
Teens are attracted to smoking because of the
advertising that can be seen in many places. Thousands
of teens are also pressured into smoking by their peers,
and they give into the urge. According to the U.S.
Smoking Statistics, "…more than 6000 people under age 18
try a cigarette each day, and each day more than more
than 3000 persons under 18 become daily smokers" (p.1).
This means that thousands of teens today are becoming
smokers. Teens should be concerned about a decision to
do something that affects their health and the health of
others. Furthermore, many daily smokers probably started
smoking in their early teens. Teens who start smoking
know little or nothing about the harms of cigarettes
when they are younger. According to the U.S. Smoking
Statistics, "…50% of smokers begin tobacco use by age
14; and 25% begin their smoking addiction by age 12 (the
sixth grade)" (p.2). This reveals without further doubt
that too many teens and pre-teens are starting to smoke.
Tobacco companies are influencing them to start smoking
before they know what they are doing.
Steven Weingarten is a contributor to The Rational Argumentator. Paul Newman, Michael Mazur, and Michael Gonzalez are his associates in research who have assisted in the preparation of this work.
This TRA feature has been edited in accordance with TRA’s Statement of Policy.
Read Mr. Stolyarov's new comprehensive treatise, A Rational Cosmology, explicating such terms as the universe, matter, space, time, sound, light, life, consciousness, and volition, at http://www.geocities.com/rational_argumentator/rc.html.