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Smoking: Weighing the benefits and costs

Smoking remains a complex issue, sparking debate despite its documented health risks. While some aspects might appear positive, it’s crucial to understand the full picture before drawing conclusions.

While it is true that there may be perceived advantages, such as stress relief, economic contributions, and tax generation, the overwhelming consensus from the medical and public health communities is that the negative consequences far outweigh any potential benefits.

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Perceived benefits of smoking

Stress relief

Some smokers claim cigarettes offer temporary solace from stress. This is because nicotine and other chemicals in tobacco smoke quickly spread throughout the body. When taken in small amounts, nicotine causes pleasant feelings and distracts the user from unpleasant feelings.

Economic contributions

The tobacco industry employs people, particularly in cultivating, manufacturing, and retailing. More than one million people work in tobacco manufacturing in almost one hundred thousand factories around the world. These generate over two hundred and fifty billion US dollars in value of the total tobacco production.

Tax generation

Governments collect taxes on tobacco products, generating revenue for public services. Also, while taxes are used to fix roads, build schools, hospitals, and pay government workers, the costs of cigarettes become more expensive leading to the discouragement of smoking.

High prices of cigarettes prevent youth from using tobacco. They also encourage smokers to quit or, for those who cannot or will not quit, encourage smokers to switch completely to the least harmful tobacco products.

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Undeniable disadvantages of smoking

Devastating health impact

Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death globally. It is responsible for millions of fatalities annually. It damages nearly every organ, significantly increasing the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke, lung diseases, diabetes, and a plethora of other health problems. These consequences not only inflict suffering on individuals and families but also overwhelm healthcare systems, incurring immense costs.

Second-hand smoke threat

Even non-smokers are at risk from inhaling second-hand smoke, laden with the same harmful chemicals as direct smoke. This involuntary exposure can cause severe health issues, particularly in vulnerable populations like children and pregnant women.

Addiction’s grip

Nicotine’s highly addictive nature makes quitting incredibly difficult, leading to financial strain, social isolation, and diminished quality of life for smokers.

Economic burden

The true cost of smoking extends far beyond healthcare. Lost productivity due to smoking-related illness and premature death significantly hinders economic growth. Additionally, environmental damage caused by tobacco cultivation and waste disposal adds to the financial burden.

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Beyond the debate

While the tobacco industry might highlight potential benefits, the overwhelming evidence points to the immense health and economic burdens smoking inflicts. Public health efforts worldwide focus on curbing smoking rates through strategies like:

Tobacco control policies

These policies encompass raising tobacco taxes, banning smoking in public spaces, and restricting tobacco advertising and marketing. Such measures discourage smoking initiation, incentivise quitting, and protect non-smokers from second-hand smoke exposure.

Smoking cessation programmes

These programmes provide smokers with personalised support, resources, and guidance to help them overcome addiction and quit successfully. Counselling, medication, and nicotine replacement therapy are often employed in these programmes.

Public education campaigns

Raising awareness about the dangers of smoking is crucial for preventing initiation and encouraging cessation. Educational campaigns utilise various channels like mass media, social media, and community outreach programmes to inform the public about the health risks and economic consequences of smoking.


While some may perceive advantages to smoking, the undeniable harm it inflicts on individuals, communities, and economies far outweighs any potential benefits. Public health efforts aimed at reducing smoking rates are essential to safeguard the health and well-being of present and future generations.

Only by acknowledging the gravity of the issue and implementing effective interventions can we break free from the grip of smoking and create a healthier future for all.

It’s important to remember that smoking is a serious public health issue with detrimental consequences, and while it might appear to offer some benefits, they are vastly outweighed by the negative impacts.


Don’t get hooked: The real deal about smoking

Smoking sucks: It’s not just a catchphrase

Wrecks your health

Think coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and even cancer. Not exactly the cool image you might be going for, right? Smoking damages nearly every organ in your body, leading to a lifetime of health problems.

Second-hand smoke hurts others

You might think it’s just your choice, but the harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke affect everyone around you, including your friends, family, and even pets. Don’t be the reason someone you care about gets sick.

Addictive trap

Nicotine in cigarettes is highly addictive, making it super hard to quit once you start. Don’t get stuck in a cycle of needing cigarettes just to feel “normal”. You deserve better than that!

Money pit

Cigarettes are expensive, draining your cash that could be spent on things you actually enjoy, like new clothes, gadgets, or hanging out with friends. Why waste it on lung darts?

Peer pressure? You got this!

True friends respect you

Don’t let anyone pressure you into doing something you know is bad for you. Real friends understand and support your choices, even if they differ from theirs.

Confident “no”

Practice saying “no” confidently and clearly. A simple “Not for me” or “I’m good, thanks” works wonders. You don’t owe anyone an explanation.

Walk away

If someone keeps pushing, don’t be afraid to excuse yourself and walk away. Find people who respect your boundaries.

Talk it out

Don’t keep the pressure bottled up. Talk to a trusted adult, like a parent, counselor, or even a supportive friend. They can offer advice and help you resist peer pressure.

Find your crew: Surround yourself with positivity

Non-smokers don’t pressure

Hang out with friends who don’t smoke. They won’t pressure you and might even encourage your healthy choices.

Shared values

Find people who share your healthy lifestyle goals. Surround yourself with positive influences who make good choices and support your well-being.

Be yourself

Don’t try to change who you are to impress others. The right friends will like you for who you are, not whether you smoke or not.

To sum up

You’re strong, smart, and deserve the best! Don’t let smoking hold you back from achieving your dreams. You have a whole future ahead filled with possibilities. Choose health, happiness, and real friends who support you. You have the power to decide your future.

Don’t let anyone tell you differently. Choose to live a healthy, smoke-free life and see how amazing it feels! There are tonnes of resources available to help you stay smoke-free. Check out websites, hotlines, and support groups for teens who want to quit or avoid smoking altogether. You’re not alone in this!

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See also:

Argumentative Essay: Debate in 5 paragraphs with example

16 Debate topics and points to master argumentative essays

Social media: Exploring the advantages and disadvantages of this double-edged sword

Family planning: More than birth control, a path to progress

The link between nutrition and education

8 Ways to make learning fun and easy


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