Essay on the article Tobacco and Tolerance: Blowing smoke (о вреде курения)
Международный институт экономики и
Высшая Школа Экономики.
on the article
“Tobacco and Tolerance: Blowing smoke”.
labour made man differ from a monkey, but also care and attention to his fellow
creatures. This is the main point of human relations and the basis of human
being. Animals are first of all competitors with each other, and they do not
have an instinct to help their neighbours and to think about their safety. The
only exception is their own cubs.
a father and mother take care of a small child who does not yet have his own
opinion on what is good and what is bad, who do not even know, that many
seemingly innocent things harm his health greatly and cause strong addiction.
Even when a child realises that, it is very hard for him to make the right
decision. And if we consider such thing as smoking, the only right decision is
not to start it. One may argue that whether to smoke or not is the private
decision of every person and no one might impose his point of view to someone.
I agree with this statement, but not always this principle provides us with a
solution to the problem of social wellbeing. People make a lot of decisions
connected with great risks like motorcycle riding, parachute jumping, smoking, taking
drugs and so on. Some of these things have unalterable consequences, which make
people regret they have made these decisions during the rest of their lives.
The only thing they should ask themselves is whether this thing is worth
risking. The fewer would be the number of activities that greatly harm human
health, and above all, of these, which are not worth risking like smoking, the
better it would be for the health of all humanity. The exceptions are such
things as scuba diving or mountain climbing and other, because they can be
justified from many reasons and they are not simple and stupid self-poisoning.
I do not agree with the author of the article “Tobacco
and Tolerance: Blowing smoke” that smoking is not a social problem but a
private one and the anti-smoking program should be minimized. Those people, who
have already started and have become addicted to ‘the grayish-blue fumes’ can’t
fully realize, why do they take this great risk, still acknowledging that this
harms their health, and it is hard for them to give up smoking without outside
help. For this noble purpose there should always exist those people who can
clearly realize this enormous threat as third persons with their unaddicted
minds. They should never stop such hard and unappreciated occupations as
different anti-smoke programs and, whether smokers want it or not, they should
try to pull them out of this ‘gray and poisonous swamp’. This can be done by
different government merciless limitations of tobacco producing companies,
tobacco advertisements, restricting places for smoking to minimum and so on.
That is why smoking is a problem of the whole society, despite some of its
members think that it is not, because healthy persons form a healthy society.
Smoking causes (or, if
someone would be lucky, it might cause) many different illnesses like lung and
mouth cancer, heart disease, oral cavity. In general, the risk of developing a
tobacco-related cancer depends on the intensity of the habit as determined by a
duration of the smoking habit, a number of cigarettes smoked per day, a
tar content of the cigarette, and the depth of inhalation. Cigarette smoking is
not only related to the development of lung cancer but also affects the
development of cancer of the bladder, oral cavity, and esophagus. A
non-smoker’s inhalation of smoke produced by smokers in an enclosed space also
appears to heighten the risk of developing lung cancer. That is why the problem
of passive smoking is also very actual and to avoid harmful consequences,
governments of all countries ought to enlarge the development of a program of
making isolated places for smokers to enjoy their dangerous toys without any
harm to other people.
the major medical revelations about smoking during the 1950s and '60s
there was an increasing attempt to lessen the influence of tobacco advertising
in several countries. Cigarette manufacturers in Canada agreed to end
television advertising in 1972 after a bill to effect that end was passed in
the Commons. In West Germany television advertising of cigarettes was to be
phased out by the end of 1972.And as a result, the rate of smoking in America
has declined from more than 40% to about 25% and the number of ex-smokers has
trebled. This was the great victory of anti-smoking programs.
In fact, a
tobacco-producing industry is very profitable, and of course, these companies
try to find or sometimes to invent some evidences and reasons why people need
to use their harmful production. I believe that the anti-smoking programs cause
great losses to them, and someday they will succeed and it would not be
profitable for producers to continue operating any more.
Figure 1 shows
that the demand curve for tobacco production is very inelastic, because it is
highly addictive and has no close substitutes. Buyers could not reject a
considerable amount of it in response to a large increase in price.
In figure 2 we see the situation after the government’s
imposition of a sales tax. The new Supply curve will shift upwards on the
amount of tax. And because the demand for tobacco production is inelastic, this
will increase total revenue of a producer. This indirect tax would not become
his profit and all the additional money received would be considered as costs
and go directly to the government.
q*p TR2= Q*P)
Figure 3 shows
us the situation where the government sets a price ceiling on
tobacco production, which would result in slightly
higher demand but lower quantity produced, as it would not be beneficial for a
producer to operate at the previous production level. If this price ceiling
would be set at P lower than 2 (the lowest price, at which a firm will be
willing to produce), than these firms would not operate at all, because their
costs would be greater than revenues.
Smoking also has great negative externalities. This is
passive smoking, which is said to be even more harmful than the ‘active one’.
Especially children fall under the thread of this problem whose parents are
In the figure 4 we see private demand DD and supply SS with
free market equilibrium at E and eqiul. quantity Q. With a negative consumption
externality , the social marginal benefit is DD1 lying below DD. E* is the
socially efficient point at which output is Q*. At this output the marginal
externality is E*F. By levying this tax of exactly E*F
per unit, the
government can shift the private supply curve from SS to SS1
leading to a new
equilibrium at F at which the socially efficient quantity Q*
is produced and
the dead-weight burden of the externality E*HE is eliminated.
is not possible to stop a tobacco industry immediately, the models above show
how the government could decrease its harmful influence and consequences. For
example, the money that it receives from taxation could be spent on the
improvement of different rehabilitation centres for ex-smokers or on the
development of anti-smoking program and advertisements.
conclusion, I believe that in any case, smoking IS one of social problems and
despite some people considering it to be like motorcycle riding or other risky
occupation, it is not worth totally risking. The conscious part of humanity
ought to help smokers to give up this habit by trying to restrict smoking by
all means. Then there would be one social problem less.
smoking is a great fraud of all humanity. If, for example, you comb you hand in
some place for many years day after day, this would first become your habit and
second- this would give you an inexplicable pleasure. If you held a match in
your mouth or crunch the tail-end of your pen for many years, this would also
result in these things. Thus smoking provides us with the same “virtues”, and
all people, particularly at an early age, previously pretending to each other,
that smoking is a sort of pleasure and relaxation for them, start getting
pleasure just from the fact they have got addicted years later. This stupidity
came out of tobacco producing companies, which made a fetish of a considerable
part of humanity from an old Indian ritual tradition.
packets of cigarettes were smoked while writing this essay… J