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Swapping one addiction for another

Comment by students at King Edward VI School, Bury St Edmunds
Comment by students at King Edward VI School, Bury St Edmunds

We all know that smoking is a colossal problem in the UK, causing diseases including cancer.

Smoking is the biggest cause of lung cancer in the UK, causing 87 per cent of lung cancer cases.

This is a major problem for the health and welfare of the population – and for the NHS.

The sale of cigarettes generates income for businesses, which can then be taxed by the Government through corporation tax (on the business’s profits) and excise duties (on the product, increasing expenditure for the consumers).

However, the money the Government has gained cannot be used for developing the education system or defence because it has to immediately fund the NHS to treat people whose bad smoking habits have caused harmful diseases.

They must use this and some of their funding to care for people who have developed lung cancer because of smoking, by using very expensive chemotherapy treatments.

We are approaching Stoptober, when people are encouraged to quit. However, along with this they are promoting e-cigarettes and vaping, which is presented as the safer and heathier alternative to tobacco and apparently it can help smokers quit.

Despite the healthier outlook, scientists and experts have discovered problems with e-cigarettes, including the fact that they can alter your genes, decreasing your immunity and harm your brain cells, altering mental state and behaviour.

This cannot continue.

Now teenagers are beginning to vape because it has been promoted by the Government as harmless and is seen as ‘cool’ by their peers because a variety of attractive flavours such as strawberry andchocolate have been introduced.

This makes it sound like a toy or a game, when in reality it is a harmful substance that can damage our bodies.

It is not just the people smoking or vaping that are negatively affected. Passive smoking and vaping has proven just as bad and it also causes discomfort, too.

People who choose not to smoke are still being forced to endure the lingering stench of tobacco while becoming trapped in a cloud of smoke while trying to enjoy a day out with family. It’s unfair on those who do not wish to smoke or vape.

The Government is now realising that smoking should be reduced or stopped, but with this vaping is a whole new problem.

The next generation is becoming addicted to e-cigarettes, harming their brain cells and behaviour.

The present generation must realise this is an oncoming problem requiring solutions. Just as we think that the menace of cigarettes is fading, the spread of vaping shops is a depressing sight on our high streets.

You wouldn’t deeply inhale the fumes of a car exhaust, so why inhale tobacco or vapour?


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