Abdul Rahman

Student of Electrical & Electronics Engineering,

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Should the selling & using of cigarette & tobacco be banned in the world? If yes, state how can its production be stopped?

After reading many articles & surverys regarding the use of Cigarette & tobacco, many people strictly condemn the selling & using of cigarette & tobacco. It is always written on the pack of a cigarette that " Smoking is injurious to health & causes lung cancer" but still people smoke it. Same is the case with tobacco. It causes several diseases in humans too. But still people use tobacco despite of being well-aware of its side-effects.

  • Feb 11 2014: Heh. Prohibition worked SOOOOOOOOOOO well in the 1930s, didn't it? Likewise, do you remember WHICH 20th century government had the most widespread limitations on tobacco? Here's a hint: They are now known as the most evil state to have ever existed.

    I'm not a fascist, a nazi, or other type of totalitarian goon. Thus, I would say that you have a terrible idea that would only lead to institutionalizing criminality even further and extending tyranny and oppression even further. You would adore North Korea.
  • Feb 7 2014: Nope. Banning would only start illegal trading and surround the issue with violence. If education is not enough then so be it. If we start banning all kinds of things because people continue them despite lots of warnings, then we would end up in a world where you are so over-protected that we would learn nothing and life would be miserable.

    Also, I the warnings have reduced tobacco use much more than banning would have. I have witnessed so during my life. Before the warnings most of my relatives used to smoke. Now just one of two continue smoking. Education might not be 100% effective, but it works for many and it's harmless. It also shows respect for the individual.
  • Feb 5 2014: The main question is how enforceable such a ban would be.

    If its realistically enforceable, probably a good idea. If its not, we'll end up with a situation like alcohol prohibition in the US; a rise in organized crime and illegal and reckless use of the stuff. Not to mention tax revenue loss, which is unavoidable either way.

    Passing a law you can't stand behind does nothing but undermine your authority and encourage people to break it. Alcohol couldn't be banned because people could easily smuggle it across the border or just make it in their basement. Now, I don't know the first thing about tobacco farming, but a hunch tells me its non-enforceable.
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      Feb 5 2014: Such a ban would be more than 90% efficient if imposed. There must be punishments announced for the persons committing this offence and the ones guilty must be punished publicly so that others can learn a lesson from it.
      The main reason for what I dislike and oppose the cigarette is that the non-smoker is more affected by the smoke of the cigarette than the smoker. Also it is a kind air pollution.
      • Feb 5 2014: Like they tried with banning marijuana in the US?
        All that accomplished was land a few million people in jail who would have otherwise stayed out of it over what is in the rest of the developed world considered a minor offense.
        Some deterrents apparently don't work very well... Maybe we should try Singapore's model? Draconian it might be, but it gets results.

        Don't get me wrong, I don't smoke and I don't condone smoking, of any material. However, when looking to solve a problem, one must look to see that his solution doesn't cause more harm then good.
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          Feb 5 2014: This task will cause more benefit instead of harm. There is no chance of harm in it at all. Why must the ones guilty of this crime (if in future it is banned) be spared? There must be zero-tolerance in awarding punishments.
        • Feb 9 2014: I am a smoker, and I chew, I will even dip. I find them all to be disgusting, shameful (because they scream: This guy is a stinky dumb dumb, or a grotesque dumb dumb, and all the chemicals they put in it are polluting my body (which has a seemingly endless list of adverse effects), making it harder to breathe,. I've wished many times that tobacco wasn't readily available, legal and broken down to purchase so easily that if I have $1.00 I can get a nicotine fix within a few hundred feet of my house. If I had to buy in bulk, say a year's worth of cigarettes which would cost me $2,190 usd for a year's supply if i payed $5 a pack and smoked only a pack a day I would say "hell no." And people can be very picky or flexible about their method of consuming nicotine, so it would have to ban all types, or maybe at first not the vaporizers because they are supposedly less harmful to individuals and to the environment (maybe just because the lack of combustion?, maybe that and less additives? maybe its horrors are just undiscovered?(the first guy to get boozed up didn't say "i shouldn't do this I don't want my liver to fail.")) Regardless of what methods we take (and a lot of activism and government help is moving us in the right direction here in the US) tobacco has no benefits at all and should be the first substance abuse/addiction target because most people don't confidently boast "I'll smoke til I die" well at least not in reference to nicotine products. I think the underlying issue here isn't as simple as banning cigarettes or nicotine products in general, but eliminating substance dependency wherever there is a want or need for it. My grandma always said "its not what you have its what you do w/ it" so these goals which we are contemplating, if achieved, would help us in the fight against poverty, disease/conditions, the destruction of our habitat at our own hands and probably many more things.
      • Feb 5 2014: Its this attitude precisely that gets me worried.
        "Repercussions? What's that?"
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          Feb 6 2014: Well, when applied so in future, then we shall witness what kind of punishments are awarded to them. Yet it is impossible to say anything.
        • Feb 9 2014: I think this whole awarding punishments for harming ones' self or doing things others disagree w/ idea sucks, not just w/ tobacco products, but in general, it doesn't work if you look into things like recidivism or the repercussions of a vital family role being missing (imagine if your favorite movie was missing its starring or supporting actor/actress, it would suck right? imagine the lives of people w/ their substance/socioeconomic abuse free parents in their life vs their substance/socioeconomic abusive parents being either in or out of their lives the story sucks a lot less for the main character (the kids.)
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        Feb 7 2014: well, abdul, do you have some idea of the punishments that shall be awarded to them? If so, shouldn't you state it as a step in answering your question?
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          Feb 7 2014: Well, the government knows better than me how to deal with the culprits.
    • Feb 5 2014: Your argument speaks to why we should decriminalize all drugs, even heroine. We can not enforce the law 100%, so just give rise to criminal gangs making huge profit importing it. Same with prostitution and gambling.

      Heck, we cannot enforce extortion laws 100%, creating criminal gangs running protection rackets (pay us and we will not beat you up, still your stuff, burn down your business).
      • Feb 5 2014: I wasn't aiming for 100%, merely reasonable enforceability.

        So say, alcohol which is easily smuggled in country (as its legal practically everywhere else), and can be fermented from anything from fruit to grain in people's basement, enforcement is unrealistic, hence the failure of the US' prohibition.
        Something like heroin, which is much harder to smuggle (as its not freely available in most of the rest of the world), and which can't be easily concocted in people's basement, enforcement is a lot more realistic, even if it'll never reach 100%.

        Of course, the damage done by the material in question is also a consideration. Heroin is a lot more destructive then alcohol or tobacco, assuming a given amount of the stuff (in practice the former two do more damage because they're more widespread, but still).

        As for whether a tobacco ban is realistically enforceable, I haven't a clue. I don't know the first thing about tobacco farming, though what I can tell you is that it'll be readily available abroad to smuggle in country.
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        Feb 5 2014: At least we can control it upto some extent which is more than enough. Definitely it requires time and huge effort to control it but the word impossible doesn't fit in this case. It is 100% possible to control it.
  • Feb 5 2014: I think this goes to a more fundamental question.

    Should society work to prevent people from harming themselves?

    From laws requiring you to use a seat belt in a car or wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle, to laws such as gambling and prostitution, and more serious stuff like drug use, there is a spectrum of laws that exist to deter you from doing things that are likely to injure yourself.

    Where does one draw the line on which laws are okay, and which are big government sticking its nose where it doesn't belong?

    It is my general observation that if you don't enjoy it then making it illegal seems to be okay. If you do enjoy it, then government should keeps its nose out.

    Could there be a more objective measure of when it is okay and when it is not okay for government to protect you from yourself that a simple, self-centered litmus test of whether you enjoy it or not?
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      Feb 5 2014: Darrell: I partially agree with you. I'll dare to complete your statement adding that the criteria for permitting or banning or putting down legal regulation anything mustn't be exclusivelyif it's bad or good for the person (you, me, other..) but for the individual and the community.
      Good concept that yours, anyway.
      • Feb 5 2014: It could be argued that any harm to any individual is a harm to society, since society is the sum of all individuals.
  • Feb 11 2014: I actually had to create a TED profile just to respond to your 'idea.' I hope you can take some negative criticism, because the problems with your idea are so large that what you suggest should never happen.

    First of all, it was tried, with disastrous results. The US saw fit to ban alcohol at one point. 5 years later it was repealed. In the meantime, all it did was create the Mafia, cause widespread violence and crime, infringe on personal rights and reduce the Rule of Law. Try reading about it, then replace 'alcohol' with 'tobacco' and you'll see that it cannot be banned.

    Second, what you are attempting to do is Legislate Morality. That does not work. People have a right to think/do/partake of whatever they want as long as they do not harm others.

    Third, your tone in describing the 'punishments' is frankly quite scary. What it implies is that someone (you, presumably) is going to decide what others can and cannot do based on their personal beliefs. That is the path that the brutal dictators of the world have taken.

    Fourth, I question your motives. You have not mentioned religion, but I know that based on your locale that this could easily be religion-based. Motives such as Religion, control, money or power will frequently make demands such as you are suggesting - all for their own selfish agenda.

    Fifth, if you REALLY want to help others live a better life by staying away from tobacco then EDUCATE them! That approach will 'save' many without punishing them. Smoking rates in the US have been falling for decades because of education, increased taxes on tobacco, and public bans. Note that they are bans for Public use, not Personal.

    Sixth, your 'ban' approach is wrong. It implies that the problem can be eliminated. Consider instead limiting the bad effects while still allowing Choice. You will NOT end homosexuality by banning it, you will not end drug use by banning it, you cannot eliminate guns by banning them, you can't end prostitution, etc.
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    Feb 11 2014: From a legal standpoint what right do they have to produce something that has been proven to be lethal and cause serious health problems in close to 100% of its users? If any other product had those kinds of stats the law would step in and recall the item that is so damaging to its customers.

    The tobacco companies have been fighting to justify their product for a long time and have the money and the power to stay in business despite their products' horribly destructive affects.

    Society has to be the one to say enough is enough and put an end to the industries.
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    Feb 6 2014: I think you could extend this to anything harmful (alcohol, betel nut, gat) and then where do you draw the line? Would this court the human rights line?

    The effects of alcohol, not in terms of just healthcare, but the damage people cause when under the influence, could quite possibly be just as much as a cost as smoking. So why stop at smoking?

    Part of the problem is that these things are engrained in culture. How do you change culture?
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      Feb 6 2014: I haven't stated anywhere in my comments that I favor alcohol. I definitely oppose alcohol just as I oppose smoking etc. Alcohol is more dangerous than smoking even since a person isn't in his sense while being drunk.
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        Feb 7 2014: I agree. My point wasn't why smoking over alcohol - more that if you ban production of tobacco, where do you draw the line on what the government considers harmful to us? Surely we have the right to make our own decisions so long as we are aware of the consequences.

        Regardless, I think we are probably on the way to stopping the sale of tobacco, not any time in the immediate future, but certainly in the long term. If you look at the UK, in the last 10 years we've gone from changing the age that you can buy cigarettes (16 to 18); warning signs on packets; graphic imagery and now cigarettes in a lot of retailers are hidden behind screens from customers. What's next? Probably further restrictions and then, I would have thought, stopping of sale.
  • Feb 6 2014: Salam alaikum Rehman sir.as per my little xperience nothing is bad or Useless in de world but its a man how he reacts with Nature acquires the same. As some 1 said" Life is 10% how to make it & 90% how to take it"
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      Feb 6 2014: W.salam brother. You are right, humans have no sense of what they are doing and what they are doing is right or wrong.
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      Feb 6 2014: This is the focusing point of my question that why do humans don't understand in what lies their benefit and in what lies their loss? I am feeling pity for them.
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      • Feb 7 2014: humans are not machines ,they don't follow set of codes .Its not black or white for them they like to wander in the grey area.
        You dont have to pity on them ,by doing so you are just making your ego happy by thinking that you are smarter than them.
        They are living a different lifestyle respect that as they respect your's.
        The problem is people who don't smoke feel they are intelligent .
        I still consider smoking merely as a habit neither good nor bad.People do that for change of experience
        Why make a big deal out of it .
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          Feb 7 2014: Never judge someone. You misjudged me. I didn't expressed that I am better than them or I am intelligent than them. I just said that this is a bad habit and are polluting the environment by the smoke emitted from the cigarettes.
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    Feb 5 2014: I don't think selling and using should be banned because that would create a black market demand, which in turn would create an even bigger problem, without solving the problem. In some places smoking is on the rise, and in other places it's decreasing. I think we need several approaches depending on the part of the world. Tobacco makers should fund most of this through taxes.

    No form of advertising should be allowed, because the only purpose of this would be to deceive people into buying deadly products. Education should be emphasized across all media channels. The difficult addiction problem must continue to be attacked - new products and techniques (some better or worse than others) continue to hit the market aimed at helping people quit. Smoking should be banned in all public places and work environments.
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    Feb 5 2014: of course not. you point out that people still smoke regardless of the consequences - that in itself means that a black market will replace the legal one.

    there are already too many laws in place discriminating against smokers. to ban it completely won't work and is somewhat hypocritical considering cars and fast food.
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    Feb 5 2014: No I don’t think there should be a ban; US alcohol prohibition proved that does not work.
    Instead the world should do what is known to work on reducing smoking:

    • Ban smoking and tobacco ads, on TV and in movies world wide, like the US has done.
    • Ban smoking in public places. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_smoking_bans_in_the_United_States)

    And I like to see tobacco products tested and IF they modified the product to be more addictive the company and its owners would face criminal changes.

    FYI: just in the news today, the drug store chain CVS has decided to stop the sale of tobacco products. (good for them!)
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      Feb 5 2014: Exactly, this is what I also want to see in the world that it must be banned in the public places and its advertisements should not be aired on television.
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        Feb 7 2014: well, do they air ads for cigarettes in your country on TV, Abdul? You could ask your government to create a law forbidding it? Do they let people smoke in public places in your city? You could ask your city government to make laws forbidding it?
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          Feb 10 2014: Yes, why not !! They are aired on many TV channels.
          As far as asking for law is concerned, let me tell you that in this country the laws already available aren't followed properly and you are talking about this mini-law.