Smoking has not always been considered bad. There was a time when smoking was actually considered "good for you". It was encouraged and seen as a means of relaxing and relieving tension. According to the history.com encyclopedia (2009), in World War ll, physicians endorsed cigarettes and they were included in the soldiers ration kits, this continued until 1975. Before the 20th century, lung cancer was rarely heard of, but around 1930, Epidemiologists noticed lung cancer rates began to dramatically climb. In 1962, the U.S. Government appointed ten scientists to study the evidence gathered by the cancer society and other organizations and concluded in a report by the Surgeon General in 1964 that cigarette smoking was a health hazard and suggest appropriate remedial action.
Societies Economic and Ethical Implications
The sale of cigarettes is a multi billion dollar a year industry and the majority of smokers start when they are young, many as young as middle school age. Influences from parents who smoke, peer pressure, movies that make smoking "look cool" and advertisements all add to the attraction of smoking. Today children are developing diseases that in the past have been strictly an adult disease such as high blood pressure, respiratory problems, and heart conditions that are becoming more common place among young adults. Billions are spent yearly to treat people with smoke related health issues. In the year 2000, it is estimated that 4.9 million people worldwide died premature deaths due to smoking related health issues.
As adults we have an obligation to teach and care for our youth but as adults we also have freedom of choice. The freedom to choose rather or not we want to smoke. As a society we have an obligation to provide current and up to date information to the populous so they can make an informed decision based on that information. It is societies moral obligation to protect the health of our youth by teaching them the...