The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

November 29, 2013

Cigarettes and other tobacco products


The Daily Item

— There is a problem plaguing our nation and our government needs to take action. Cigarettes and other tobacco products are harming our nation’s citizens in many ways and providing no documented benefits in return.  These products need to be banned from our country.

A few bits of information to consider: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicate that tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the United States, accounting for about one in every five deaths or, in numbers we can all understand, more than 440,000 deaths each year.

The economic loss associated with tobacco use is also shocking. The CDC indicated in its 2010 highlights that “smoking-caused diseases resulted in $96 billion in health care costs annually.”

Did I mention that this problem is also pervasive amongst our nation’s teenagers and children? Statistics from the CDC show that, in 2012, 14 percent of high school students reported current use of cigarettes and 23.3 percent reported current use of some form of tobacco. Statistics also show “3.5 percent of middle school students reported current use of cigarettes and 6.7 percent reported current use of some form of tobacco product.”

As stated initially, cigarettes and other tobacco products are harming our nation’s citizens. They are killing people and costing us billions of dollars each year. If those facts alone are not enough to convince you tobacco products should be banned in our country, then think about the teenagers and children who are already using. Decades from now, theirs will be the faces of the 440,000 that have died. Tell me our government does not need to do something!

Nicole Hepburn,

Selinsgrove