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The Tobacco Industry: Profiting From Death

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            The tobacco industry in America is one that every person is affected by. In the past year over 3,000 people died from second-hand smoke related deaths (Above the  Even non-smokers are heavily affected by this moneymaking industry. The real question though, is how is a product that kills justified in the market? This product is not only addictive, but also highly threatening to the lives of its users. The majority of users do not realize it, but in reality they are paying for their own funeral. Tobacco and cigarette companies continue to feed lies to the public through their marketing strategies and product makeup. Hidden documents containing information on the toxicity and pharmacological properties of nicotine were put into protected categories and even shipped to non-U.S. companies to avoid discovery during court cases. Many of these documents were also destroyed (Bero). The tobacco industry has something to hide, and that is the truth. This is the truth that people all over the world deserve and need to know. The tobacco industry targets adolescents from as young as the age of 13 years old, and it is infecting younger generations more than any other age group.
From a very young age, we are taught that cigarettes and tobacco are considered ‘bad’. We learn this from our parents, schoolteachers, and even police guest speakers through educational programs such as D.A.R.E. The message that smoking kills, and staying away from tobacco products is the smart and safe decision is instilled and burned into our brains. Schools are tobacco free zones to discourage the use of these easily acquired items. So why then, why have the rate of deaths by tobacco in the United States remained at an outrageous number? Why is it that when walking around campus there are thousands of students smoking cigarettes? The tobacco industry targets a younger consumer, and their strategies are prevalent working. The brain of an average 18 year old is not fully developed, and as adolescents, we are sometimes unable to make decisions with out always thinking about the consequences. It is a universal feeling of wanting to test the waters and experiment when we are young. “I only want to try it once!” How many times have we heard our peers or ourselves say this? This is what the tobacco industry feeds on. Trying one cigarette, two, three, and then it becomes a ha...

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...that will take a great deal of self-discipline. Being a target is never easy, but in this case, the best way to minimize the chances of becoming a smoker is to recognize this fact. Awareness is the first step in the battle between the tobacco industry and our generation.
Bero, Lisa. “ Implications of the Tobacco Industry Documents for Public Health and
Policy.” Public Health 24 (2003): 267-288. Annual Review of Public Health. Web. 27 Oct. 2011.
“Drug Facts: Tobacco and Nicotine.” Above the National Youth Anti-
Drug Media Campaign, n.d. Web. 11 Nov 2011.
Heyes, Eileen. Tobacco USA: The Industry Behind the Smoke Curtain. Twenty-First
Century Books, 1999. eBook Collection (EBSCOhost). Web. 27 Oct. 2011.
Pierce, John P., et al. “Tobacco Industry Promotion of Cigarettes and Adolescent
Smoking.” The Journal of the American Medical Association 306.16 (2011): 1733-1818.  Google Scholar. Web. 27
Oct. 2011.
Rabin, Robert L., and Stephen D. Sugarman. Regulating Tobacco. Cary, NC, USA:
Oxford U Press, 2001.  ebrary at University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries. Web. 27 Oct. 2011.

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