Should Smoking Be Banned?

Everyone knows how dangerous cigarettes can be, and yet, society still tolerates its use. While some cities have banned its use in public, many more still don’t do enough to quell its use.

No Smoking Sign

The use of tobacco products is one of the main causes of preventable and premature death and disease the world over. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 443,000 smoking-related deaths occur in the US alone. Others argue that death happens all the time through various diseases and accidents. However, the problem is not with the deaths themselves; the problem is that those 443,000 lives lost could have been prevented.

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To Ban or Not to Ban?

 That is the question. Banning something that millions of people do every day is tough to execute. Imagine the worldwide outrage when smoking is banned suddenly. It would cause chaos. But even if, theoretically, all smokers opt-in to the idea, other issues also need to be addressed.

One of these is the tax revenue governments get from smoking. In the US, the amount collected in tobacco tax in 2013 amounted to $43.9 billion. It is hard for governments to let go of that outright. If tobacco were to be banned, the taxpayers would have to pay more to provide that same amount. Either that or the government would have to cut its spending.

Another issue to consider is the economy. The tobacco industry employs thousands of farmers and workers who earn a mean annual wage of about $58,000. If cigarette smoking were to be banned, many people who earn a decent living would suddenly lose it all.

Then there is the issue of religion. Some religions use tobacco as part of their rituals and ceremonies, such as Native Americans. Stifling any one religion can result in violent protests by both followers of the offended religion and others as well.

As for the reasons why smoking should be banned, these hit closer to home since they happen on a more personal level. The first is its effect on appearance. Smoking causes premature aging and wrinkles on the face and hands. Look at a smoker side-by-side with a non-smoker, and you will know who the smoker is by the yellowed fingers, the discolored teeth, and the stink of tobacco on their breaths and clothes.

There is also the risk of fires in smokers’ homes. Statistics show that smokers are seven times more likely to have a house fire than non-smokers, and about 1000 Americans die from smoking-related home fires annually. What’s more, 90% of wildfires in the US are caused by smoking.

Another lesser-known statistic is the number of car accidents smokers get involved in. Studies have shown that smokers get distracted for an average of 12 seconds while looking for a cigarette or lighter. Compare this to the 10 seconds one gets distracted by cell phone use, and it is plain to see that smoking while driving is more dangerous. It has been stated that 76% of car accidents are caused by smoking, which is alarming, considering no one talks about this risk.

A high cost of smoking happens to those around who don’t smoke. Thousands of innocent people are affected by inhaling second-hand smoke. Add to that the number of lives affected by forest fires and car accidents brought about by smoking, and many innocent people get hurt without doing anything wrong. Pregnant women who also smoke cause harm to the unborn child, but the same effects occur just by inhaling second-hand smoke. So the next time you want to light up, think of all the lives you indirectly affect.

Finally, there is the mortality rate. In the US alone, about 500,000 die from tobacco use. That number rises exponentially across the globe. Everyone has known someone who died because of tobacco use or its second-hand effects. This fact alone should be caused enough to ban smoking. The money and jobs generated from the sale of tobacco can be earned in different ways, but the lives lost prematurely cannot be taken back.

BMA Proposes Radical Tobacco Sales Ban

The British Medical Association has a goal. A tobacco-free society by 2035. That’s quite a goal, especially considering that 10 million, or about 1 in every 5 adults, in the UK smokes cigarettes, according to Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) findings.

What is their latest plan to make this happen? They want to ban tobacco sales in the United Kingdom to anyone born in the 2nd millennium. That would apply to anyone who is 14 or younger. According to the proposed motion, if the identification shows you were born from January 1, 2000, or later, you will never be legally allowed to purchase tobacco.

The Verdict?

 Unfortunately, money talks. The billions of dollars in revenue generated by tobacco products are too valuable for governments to let go outright. Not to mention the jobs and livelihoods of the farmers and workers in the industry that will be affected.

The best one can hope for is the strict regularization of its sale and use. Ban smoking in public places and cars, and let smokers do their thing inside the comforts of their homes. But to ask for a total ban is virtually impossible.

As for the effects on the personal level, that is up to the user. Everyone is entitled to pursue their happiness without infringing on others. Junk food harms health, but banning it can prove even more difficult. The same can be said for smoking. In the end, the individual is responsible for their own health and those around them.

Published: August 31, 2015 Updated: January 31, 2023



Leave a comment

58 comments on “Should Smoking Be Banned?

  • alex

    March 10, 2020 at 10:56 am

    my brother smokes and i want him to quit and i do not know what to do.

  • anonymous11

    July 14, 2019 at 2:45 pm

    The “car accident” statistic may not be good evidence due to the lack of comparison in the frequency of usage of phones versus cigarettes inside cars. Besides, the statistic does not show where this effect would take place- in a car, in your home, on your person. The statistic is not able to show an increased danger of smoking versus phone usage in cars.

  • jack

    May 17, 2019 at 8:28 pm

    It doesn’t matter whether they ‘should’ be banned or not. They won’t be.

  • Jake

    March 16, 2019 at 2:33 pm

    Sure, ban smoking because that really worked on other drugs the world over. Tobacco grows as easy as any other plant, & I already know a few people now making tax free money from it. Ban it, & that number just raises.
    Sure smoking may kill some people, but wouldn’t banning vehicles be a better idea? Since global warming could kill everything! & not just those few people per year.
    & on an end note, I’ve been smoking 20-40 cigs per day for close to 30 years now, yet I’m still fitter than most of the people saying ban it. + I only ever get a mild cold once every few years, so smoking mustn’t be to bad for me.

  • AJ

    October 18, 2018 at 1:26 pm

    Hello, I wanted to comment on this paragraph in the article “Then there is the issue of religion. Some religions use tobacco as part of their rituals and ceremonies, such Native Americans. Stifling any one religion can result in violent protests by both, followers of the offended religion and others as well”. The native american’s do use tobacco for ceremonies but the preferred tobacco is not commercial, it is traditional tobacco without all the added chemicals. The reason Native Americans started to use commercial tobacco for ceremonies is because the federal government banned them from using traditional tobacco in the 1970’s- so, to continue the ceremonies natives would use commercial tobacco instead, so no one was the wiser.

  • Roy Wang

    September 21, 2018 at 9:47 am

    smoking is dangerous for everyone,so absolutely that the cigarrette are banned

  • Sandeep

    September 9, 2018 at 9:33 am

    Plz bann it

  • Steven Lawrence Rawle

    August 11, 2018 at 4:51 pm

    Yes we definitely need to ban tobacco use, the expenses is outrageous for a pack of cigarettes and I’m tired of lining the Deep Pockets of cigarette manufacturers, the CEOs are laughing all the way to the bank

  • lola

    June 18, 2018 at 3:18 am


  • john

    June 11, 2018 at 6:56 am

    aye man ye get me blud, ban they hings

  • Me and You

    June 4, 2018 at 5:01 pm

    We DEFINITELY need to ban cigarettes because people are putting so many unnecessary things in their bodies and i wouldn’t want to see them die because of that cause. You are putting poison,paint,toilet cleaner and all these other crazy thing in your bodies.

  • @artsy_fartsy_lolabuns

    May 30, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    It’s completely necessary to ban ciggarettes. Tobacco use altogether though should be allowed. Only raw tobacco should be used. As much chaos isn’t it would cause, it will prevent future smokers as well as help current smokers

  • Anonymous

    May 27, 2018 at 6:53 pm

    i think 100% it should be banned it is a hazerd to the environment and should only be excepted for religious reasons.

  • JEFF

    May 21, 2018 at 11:18 am

    Smoking is awesome go get a smoke and start!

  • saifullah

    May 21, 2018 at 7:53 am

    hi my name is saifullah and i love smoking so plz dont band smookang

  • unknown

    May 9, 2018 at 2:36 pm

    honestly try to make selling cigarettes illegal cause you are basically paying to slowly die

  • Anonymous

    April 25, 2018 at 9:12 pm

    Banning the cigarette will cause chaos. Fucking don’t banned it.

    • Malcolm

      June 28, 2018 at 6:33 am

      Watch your language.
      They should sooooo be banned.

      • rando

        July 18, 2018 at 6:43 pm

        actually, some smoking can help cancer patients, and if we ban it people will find something worse to do.

  • jake_paul

    April 25, 2018 at 3:22 pm


  • random person( who do not like smoking)

    April 4, 2018 at 7:29 am

    BAn THe ciGarEtTe!!!!

  • Hi

    March 27, 2018 at 7:38 pm


  • No name

    March 26, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    yes we should ban smoking

  • yo boi skinny wewe

    March 22, 2018 at 5:16 pm

    hey my dude

  • Your Dad

    March 19, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    I neeeeeeed smoke in my caffeine or i will die of smoke overdose

  • bigboy

    March 19, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    smok is bad bery bad u no, we ban smoak and lif is gud

  • Chelsea

    March 15, 2018 at 12:53 am

    If you believe that Vaping is any better than smoking, search up it’s health issues

  • poop

    March 12, 2018 at 4:57 pm

    So true this stuff needs to be baned!

  • nato

    March 9, 2018 at 4:32 pm

    smoking is bad you people

  • Kang Ju hui

    March 9, 2018 at 8:26 am


  • stop smoking

    March 7, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    smoking is bad it could cuose you cancer

  • stop smoking

    March 7, 2018 at 6:53 pm


  • stop smoking

    March 7, 2018 at 2:02 am

    ommmm (sniff) stop smoking guys

  • Justin

    March 6, 2018 at 5:52 pm


  • fortnite god

    March 5, 2018 at 4:37 pm

    hi im looking for a good fortnite squad or duo p

  • juanito

    February 28, 2018 at 5:37 pm


  • Momolu

    February 22, 2018 at 8:50 pm

    It doent matter about how much moley the tax payers are getting people are addited and if we banned it people wont get hurt as much

    • Sally seahorse

      April 16, 2018 at 1:22 pm

      actually no because they will just buy something more deadly

      • lettusse

        April 19, 2018 at 1:52 pm

        you’re a cactus

    • Lola

      May 30, 2018 at 1:33 pm


  • Edward

    January 11, 2018 at 5:26 pm

    PLZ ban smoaking

    • Kim Jong-un

      March 5, 2018 at 3:45 am

      smookang ez bad kil smookang plz

      • Nora

        April 4, 2018 at 7:57 am

        ok oppa

      • fart

        April 23, 2018 at 3:02 pm


      • bob

        June 6, 2018 at 10:05 am

        english please


      April 13, 2018 at 5:39 pm



    • Duang

      April 16, 2018 at 10:32 am


    • J

      May 17, 2018 at 10:18 am


    • Steven Lawrence Rawle

      July 31, 2018 at 9:39 pm

      Please the US government needs to ban smoking tobacco

  • Chad Fisher

    December 4, 2017 at 2:41 pm

    There is a difference between banning manufactured cigarettes infused with additional chemicals and toxic properties, and banning tobacco use.

    Why does the author of this article not understand this distinction?

  • daniela danial

    November 17, 2017 at 8:09 am

    hello I’m trying to use this article for my essay but it does not say the author and date. Can you please help me with that.

    • fortnite god

      March 5, 2018 at 4:34 pm

      hello good sir I am using this as an essay as well wanna play fortnite

    • bobi Jenkins

      March 6, 2018 at 6:06 pm

      me too

    • poop

      March 12, 2018 at 4:58 pm

      it is on the very top

    • samiq

      March 22, 2018 at 4:38 pm

      maybe and what do you mean by help?

    • Urnmumm

      May 21, 2018 at 11:17 am

      i can help you get a life and move on

      • rando

        July 18, 2018 at 6:40 pm

        she needs an education to have a life dummy

    • Ang

      October 24, 2018 at 4:31 pm

      Yes! It does say the Author, but no date!