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

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Introduction

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. ...read more.

Middle

It seems as if he would not want to discourage the smoker. Deborah Arnott, Director of the health campaigning charity ASH, said: "This is disappointing. The Chancellor has missed a golden opportunity to boost the government's strategy to cut smoking rates and improve the nation's health. Such a small increase in tax is unlikely to provide the incentive smokers need to help them to quit. Sadly this means more needless, totally preventable heart disease and cancer cases and thousands of premature deaths." (6) A lot of smokers also suffer with sexual problems. Smokers are more likely than non-smokers to become impotent or have difficulty in maintaining an erection in middle life. This is thought to be due to smoking-related damage of the blood vessels to the penis. However this may be seen buy the government as a positive side effect. Impotence would affect the birth rate, and a decrease in the birth rate eventually effects the government as it means a decreasing population which is much cheaper - no pensions to be paid, no health costs, no education costs etc. Also if you smoke when you are pregnant, it reduces the amount of oxygen that crosses the placenta to the baby. Smokers have an increased risk of miscarriage, or having a low birth weight or premature baby. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, some MP's of the Czech government could argue that those social costs are of benefit to society as a whole. There's a death deficit in this world; people are dying of diseases like AIDS, malnutrition, and cholera; things that are not always self inflicted, as smoking damage nearly always is. The smoker, rather than the innocent, starving child, should die - the money saved by the smoker's death could save this child. Perhaps, when the global fascist order finally takes over completely, they can remove all health benefits for smokers while removing all restrictions on smoking? Then, the resultant depopulation will free up funds for AIDS relief, malnutrition, and other pressing health issues. To conclude, financially, it would be in the government's interest and would improve the economic market. However, it is both morally and ethically wrong to encourage a habit that kills over 300 people each day. The �1.5bn spent on smoking related diseases in NHS hospitals and surgery'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. ...read more.

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