It is shocking to report, that after 50 years of awareness of the dangers of smoking and use of other tobacco products, tobacco industries are still on the incline. Cigarettes and the diseases they cause, are still commonplace in our communities, nation, and the world.
It's puzzling that this public health problem is still so persistent. What is it that makes the use of tobacco products so appealing in today's society? Better yet, why does it seem that our political, economic and legal environment continue to foster a robust tobacco industry?
Tobacco results in upwards of half a million American premature deaths per year. That is more deaths than by HIV, drug and alcohol abuse, automobile accidents,suicides and murders combined. For every one of those deaths, nearly 20 other Americans suffer from a tobacco-related illness.Tobacco-related illness places an enormous burden on the healthcare system, with cigarette smoking driving $193 billion in cost, and second hand smoke adding another $10 million.
These are all national statistics, but the smoking-problem in my hometown of Greenwood, South Carolina is ever more shocking. Nearly twenty four percent of our population smokes, compared to the national average of nineteen percent. Nineteen percent of High School students in South Carolina smoke, while six percent of students start using tobacco as early as middle school.
It is a common misconception in America that our tobacco-problems are being "dealt with" by high cigarette taxes, large settlements that states receive from big tobacco companies, and it's growing negative reputation in our society; however, nothing could be any further from the truth.
If we look beyond the prolix, we see a political climate and economic environment that still seems to be not at all indisposed to the dangers of tobacco use, but actually quite welcoming. While our nation does require states employment of a tax on tobacco products, he tobacco-tax revenue that is collected rarely is used to curb tobacco use.
Our world contains billions of tobacco-users. six million deaths are at the hand of the tobacco industry, while nearly one million of those deaths...