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Essay5DraftFinal - Timothy Han WRT 102.14 Freedom of Smoke...

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Timothy Han Han 1 WRT 102.14 11/30/07 Freedom of Smoke Some would call smoking cigarettes a veritable plague on mankind as we know it. As a result, the country crusades against this “wave of disease” and makes it a point to hunt down and even shut down companies that sell these cigarettes. And so the popular culture sends wave after wave of anti-tobacco advertisements. The reality of the situation, however, is that this government crusade makes little sense whatsoever. The government should not be regulating smoking because sending tobacco companies into lawsuits when its customers feel the long term effects is faulty logic. Most, if not all tobacco companies label the risks of using their product on the actual package. People are aware of the harms of smoking, but choose to do it anyway for myriad reasons. Thus, the individual, not the company, is responsible for any consequence of smoking. Furthermore, the effects of smoking are grossly over exaggerated to begin with. For example, it is absurd to say that a John Doe died from smoking when he could have also suffered from diabetes, high cholesterol, or lack of exercise. There is simply no way to isolate smoking as a direct link to death. I am not a smoker and will probably never regularly smoke cigarettes because it is just a personal preference. I strongly detest, however, the persecution smokers get in this modern day and age. Setting laws such as the prohibition of smoking in restaurants and similar faculties is reminiscent of segregating the nation into white and black. The simple truth is that a smoker should be allowed the freedom to smoke without being ostracized by the media and even his or her own government.
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Han 2 The supposed “devastating” effects of cigarettes are vastly embellished. In Rosalind B. Marimont’s editorial, "The Harmful Effects of Smoking Are Overstated", she notes to start off that: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) uses an erroneous computer application to estimate the number of deaths caused by smoking, leading the public to believe that 400,000 Americans die annually from smoking-related illnesses. In actuality, many of these deaths could be the result of other health problems, such as high cholesterol or obesity. In effect, this application ignores other health risks and goes straight for smoking as a cause of death when it may only have been a minor contributing factor. Marimont goes on to note that, “ It is false that second hand smoke (ETS) is a proven health danger. The EPA report naming Environmental Tobacco Smoke as a class A carcinogen is a triumph of politics over science, and a symbol of corruption of science by government.” Thus the harmful effects of cigarettes are isolated to the individual and not to, as many claim, “everyone around the smoker”. Marimont states in her editorial, “Alcohol and drug
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