Caleb's Policy Paper

Caleb Caboth
Policy Paper
Rachel Robson

Policy Proposal for Making Smoking Illegal
Smoking is the leading cause of death in the United States today, not to mention the leading cause of cancer (above. Along with the taking the risk yourself by smoking, second hand smoke is just as deadly and even worst. When you inhale that second hand smoke you are getting more of the chemicals then the actual smokers are getting because of they have that filter (Surgeon). Since the early 1990’s, the EPA has classified second hand smoke as a carcinogen Over 10 million children in their teen ages live with someone who is a smoker, and since a child whose parents are smokers are twice as likely to attempt or try smoking themselves, that does not get them off to a very good start. My Grandmother died at the young age of sixty five, she had lung cancer, and her cause of her lung cancer was second hand smoke. Her and my Grandfather spent many nights at a smoky Lions Club, in down town Sheldon were she spent many nights inhaling pounds and pounds of smoke. Now that is one death that is close to my family cause by smoking, there are at least three others in my family that have been affected by smoking too.
Every day, three thousand teenagers smoke their first cigarette, that is anyone under the legal age of eighteen, but most kids start smoking by the age of sixteen* (SAMHSA). From those three thousand that start smoking today, a thousand of them will die early because of a smoking related disease The teenagers who choose to smoke at an early age are more likely to experiment with more dangerous drugs, and are twenty two times as lucky to experiment with the drug cocaine (Surgeon). Smoking at an early age increases your chances of dying, compared to if you would start if you were twenty five, and ninety percent of adults start when they are considered a teenager. The worst part about all this is in a survey that was taken in 2001 found that 69.4% of kids who were smokers were not asked to see their identification, and in that same survey, 62.4% said even if the person knew how old they were, the clerk still sold to them (CDD).
Even though each day 1,215 people are killed by tobacco related diseases, which is not even as many people who die over in Iraq but people still do it, why? The nicotine in the cigarettes, make it hard for people to quit, but besides the nicotine, tobacco products contain 4,000 substances, that also make it hard for people to quit (NIDA). Weed, a gateway drug of smoking, is not as addicting as cigarettes, because it does not contain nicotine. Although side of effects of smoking is not as bad as smoking weed, the long term effects are way worst* (SAMHSA).
In the United States today only twenty six states have any type of regulation at all on tobacco smoking. Over half of those States are over five years old (STATE). It seems kind of strange to me that the leading cause of death in the United States today, and just over half of the states have regulations of them. In 2008 only two states have made any effort what so ever to make smoking illegal in public places. Iowa and Nebraska are the only two states; Nebraska’s law goes into full force in 2009 at the end of March. The Midwest is the best in the United States as far as “Smoke Free” goes but, it still needs a lot of work among forty eight other states. When asking many relatives, friends, and some random people who are heavy smokers, and some that just smoke when they drink why they don’t quit and tell them how much damage they are doing to me and themselves I did not get much of a response. They go the experts have no idea what they are talking about? If they think they know it all and it is such a problem why is it still around? Therefore I would like to change the current policy of smoking and tobacco products being legal to banning them completely.
My policy is very simple, no smoking at anytime. Just like the banning of smoking marijuana, the banning of smoking tobacco will have no tolerance..The possession of any amount of tobacco is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. For a second offense the penalties increase to up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,500. Subsequent offenses are punishable by up to two years and a fine of $500 - $5,000. There is the possibility for conditional discharge for possession charges. Possession within 1,000 feet of a school, public park, swimming pool or recreation center adds an additional 100 hours of community service to the sentence.Sale to a minor carries a five-year mandatory minimum sentence with a 25-year maximum sentence. Sale within 1,000 feet of a school or public park carries a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence with a 25-year maximum sentence.Possession or sale of paraphernalia is a simple misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a fine of $50 - $500.Second or subsequent offenses are punishable by up to three times the sentence for first offenses.For juveniles convicted of drug charges, driver's licenses are suspended for up to one year. It seems to me it is a little insane to have a drug that is out there which is not illegal but is the leading cause of death in the United States. Many people will be unhappy about this law but yet at the same time many people would support this. Many things will have to be done in order to make this law go through, we would have to pay the tobacco companies something for just putting them out of business like that. To get the money to pass this policy, the Anit-Smoking campaigns have agreed to donate up to 7.5 million dollars. We also, can make a campaign out of it ourselves and ask people for money. I really think that this will not be a problem either. Also, the money that the government saves on people dying because of tobacco related products. Millions of dollars are spent each year with people buying tobacco products. This will not cost too much money to do. For enforcing this new law, new police officers will need to be hired. Yes, this will cost more of the governments and peoples tax dollars, and the FBI will need to get involved. We need to hire a hirer authority to look over this policy, which the head courters for this will be in New York City. Although, many disagreements will be made on this change of policy, this will be way better the people and their health, our environment, and the people who have been around smokers. To make sure that these regulations are met I would like to hire someone of the higher authority to make sure all these regulation go into action. It will take a lot of time to get everything arrange and organized, but the effort will be worth it.
With all the people being addicted daily to the use of tobacco products and the about of people who die from a tobacco related issues. It is time for someone to do something about this, and now is our chance. We need to make the steps in order to make this happen. The United States needs to ban tobacco use all together. The current rules and laws we have for this right now are not working and not everyone is doing it, so the only way for everything to work and make a point is for this new policy to ban the use of tobacco products for good, so our country can become a healthier and more productive society.
CDC. Smoking-Attributable Mortality, Morbidity and Economic Costs (SAMMEC). Adult Software. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CDC; 2008.
EPA, (June 11th, 2008). Retrieved March 9, 2009, from Setting the record straight Web site:
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2002, September 24). NIDA InfoFacts: Cigarettes and Other Nicotine ProductsWashington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office. Retrieved October 03, 2002 from the World Wide Web:
SAMHSA Press, (3/5/09). Levels of smokeless tobacco use increase among young males. Retrieved March 9, 2009, from samhsa news release Web site:
Farrelly, M, et al. "The Impact of Tobacco Control on Adult Smoking." Am J Public Health. 2008; 98: 304-309, 10.2105/AJPH.2006.106377

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License