Opinion Essay: Cigarettes, The Killing Drug

The thing that is responsible for more deaths than traffic crashes and plane crashes combined, is drugs. Drugs take approximately 11.8 million lives per year.  Using drugs can make it harder to sleep, think, reason and to remember. It also damage your organs. According to Drugabuse.gov drug use leads to brain changes and these brain changes can be persistent, which is why drug addiction is considered a "relapsing" disease—people in recovery from drug use disorders are at increased risk for returning to drug use even after years of not taking the drug.

Although using drugs are dangerous, using cigarettes are even more dangerous.  

Smoking cigarettes may look harmless at first but overtime it can be fatal. Every time you smoke your organs get damaged. Lung cancer is the most common disease of smoking but closing of airways and difficulty breathing is also a major consequence. Smoking takes over 8 million lives each year.  Additionally, according to thoracic.org when you smoke a cigarette it only takes six to ten seconds for the nicotine to reach your brain. This makes smoking tobacco very addictive and difficult to stop. Nicotine that is inhaled in cigarette smoke is absorbed by the lungs into the bloodstream and quickly goes to the heart and brain. Just one cigarette is enough to make you addicted to smoking. Researchers at Queen Mary's Wolfson Institute of Preventative Medicine stated that at least three out of five people who try a cigarette for the first time become daily smokers. Similar to drugs, smoking is also very addictive. Furthermore, smokers spent a lot of their money on buying cigarettes. According to the National Cancer Institute, the average cost of a pack of cigarettes is 30.70 rand, which means a pack-a-day habit sets you back 921 rand per month or 11 052 rand per year.  Ten years of smoking comes with a 110 520 rand price tag. Just think how much money people can save when they are not smoking and using cigarettes.

That is not all. Plastic pollution is a big problem on our planet. There are many people fighting against plastic pollution to try and stop it but what they should do is fight smoking. According to earthday.org cigarette butts are the most abundant form of plastic pollution with over 4.5 trillion butts scattered over the world. Cigarette butts are not biodegradable and it merely becomes diluted onto soils and water.  This kills and effects many fish and animals in the environment that eats the toxic substances. This is very detrimental to human and animal lives.

The reason drugs are banned is because it is harmful and addictive. So are cigarettes. Therefore should not cigarettes be classified as a drug and also be banned. Make smoking illegal.



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