It is in the government’s interest to encourage smoking. Discuss.

1130 Words5 Pages
Laura Howe 12STK Feb ‘05

It is in the government’s interest to encourage smoking. Discuss.

Since early in the twentieth century the evidence for the detrimental

health effects of smoking has increased steadily. With the awareness

of the health consequences of smoking, the proportion of smokers

dropped and the evidence for the health benefits of smoking cessation

began to accumulate.

It is widely know that smoking increases the risk of at least 50

different medical problems, from cancer and heart disease to digestive

problems and dementia. Some of these conditions may be fatal, while

others could do immense chronic damage to a person's health. It is

estimated that about 30,000 people in the UK die from lung cancer each

year and more than 8 in 10 cases are directly related to smoking. (3)

Other cancers, e.g. of the mouth, nose, throat, larynx, gullet

(oesophagus), pancreas, bladder, blood (leukaemia), and kidney are all

more common in smokers. Stroke is a leading cause of death and

disability, and it is also associated with cigarette smoking. When

comparing former smokers with current smokers the overall risk of

stroke was 1.17 and it tends to decline with increased duration of

abstinence. The risk of aortic aneurysm and peripheral artery disease

also decreases with duration of abstinence. (4).

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is also thought to cause About

25,000 death in the UK each. More than 8 in 10 of these deaths are

directly linked to smoking. The chemicals in tobacco can damage the

lining of the blood vessels. This increases the risk of atheroma

forming (sometimes called 'hardening' of the arteries). A...

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...s could be spent on developing a cure for cancer or providing

more shelter for the homeless if something like smoking were to be

banned altogether (even though this would probably have more harmful

effects with smuggling cigarettes etc in the long run). This attitude

will eventually backfire on the Government, although encouraging

people to smoke would get them a slightly bigger income from the

taxes, in the long run it would have a detrimental affect on its

financial resources.


1. The UK Smoking Epidemic. Heath Education Authority 1998

2. The Guardian





7. DOE Science News. October 6, 2003

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