Research during the past few years has revealed the dangers of smoking which include such things as cancer of the lungs, mouth, throat, tongue, nasal passages, pancreas, bladder, and kidneys. In addition, other tobacco-caused diseases can include: Burger’s Disease, allergies, osteoporosis, heart disease, stroke, hypertension, lymphomas, gangrene, infertility, and others. It can even spread to the brain. Unfortunately, this is not confined to the smoker, but can spread to innocent people, including children, via secondhand smoke.
There are many dangers for smoking and the survival rate for some of these diseases is very poor. Pancreatic cancer, for example, only has a 5% survival rate. The physical results of contacting a cancer of the mouth and throat make it impossible for the person to eat so they must be fed through a tube in the stomach, no longer able to enjoy an everyday meal. When cancer spreads to the voice box, they are also no longer able to speak. Cancer of the lungs makes it very painful to take a breath of air and often causes extreme coughing, which is also painful.
Many states and cities have banned smoking from public areas and buildings. Businesses have banned smoking on their properties. In the years, before these laws banning smoking, walking into a bar was like walking into a cloud because of the thick smoke. Indian casinos, nowadays, do not have a ban on smoking in their establishment as they are considered in control of governing their own reservation. However, even these casinos have areas of no smoking, and the smoking areas are well equipped with exhaust fans to pull out the smoke quickly. Many other countries of the world do not have the United States laws, so smoking is apparent in many of them as they consider it a person’s personal choice.
A recent study held arguments which implied that smoking is related to mental illness and the argument against forcing people to stop smoking was that we are punishing the mentally ill; that trying to reduce smoking among the poor would be punishing those in poverty and so forth. These arguments recently came up in a discussion about national health insurance and increasing the cost for those who smoke. Unfortunately, since many of those who smoke are at the poverty level the argument was who would pay for it? This section of the bill was dropped as there were so many arguments against it, including who would identify the smokers.
The dangers of smoking have been well-advertised through television, the media, and posted signs. Many people feel there is danger in everything we do in normal life such as overeating, driving a car, walking down a crowded street, and so forth and put the dangers of smoking in the same category. However, it boils down to the fact that there are some things we do because we have to and some things we do because we want to. Smoking certainly falls into the latter category. Because of public education on the subject it is believed there is no one who does not know the dangers of smoking and, if they choose to ignore these dangers, it is their choice to gamble with the odds.