Making Tobacco use Illegal in the US

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An exerpt from an 8th Grade Language Arts Final Exam Speech, given in class by Christina Havlen on June 11, 2002.
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Every year, thousands of people worldwide die from both smoking tobacco and involuntarily breathing it in. Chewing it as well. Not only is it disgusting and extremely unhealthy, but it goes unnoticed and abused every day. Tobacco should be an illegal drug. Loaded with hundreds of deadly chemicals that cause various cancers and illnesses, cigarettes and other tobacco products are used every day by helpless, unaware Americans. More than half of them are uneducated about the dangers of this deadly product, and continue to destroy their lives. Something needs to be done to stop this. The punishment for murder in some states is death. If a person dies from second hand smoking, shouldnt that be considered murder, and shouldnt the criminal be punished?
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Think of the youth that are dragged into the the trap of Tobacco Companies every day. Think of the children whose parents smoke, who must breathe in those deadly chemicals every day, with no escape, and no power over their own fate. Think of the elders who became addicted at a young age, when little was known about tobacco, and are now suffering from lung cancer, or mouth cancer, or emphysema. Think of the unborn babies, whose mothers are carelessly endangering the lives of their children by smoking during pregnancy. Tobacco affects everyone, everywhere. There is no escape from it. The little steps that have been taken to help this cause, like smoke free restaurants, are not enough to enforce the dangers of tobacco. Immediate action needs to be taken to stop the abuse of this deadly drug. Tobacco is just as deadly, if not more deadly, than some illegal weapons, yet it can be purchased by free will. Smokers do not take into account the fact that they are killing others as well as themselves. Most of this is due to the poor understanding of the dangers of tobacco. Schools need to work harder to educate kids of these dangers. Smoke-free programs need to engage more often. More dramatic action has to be taken to limit the use of tobacco.
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There is nothing that youths can do about it unless they speak out. Every day, we are forced to live in an environment where nothing is done to protect us from cigarette smoke. Nothing is done to protect our bodies from soaking in the 200 some chemicals in tobacco. Either the government does not care about kids as much as they claim, or the adults are not responsible enough to take action against this. Tobacco companies take little or no steps to prevent teens from buying their products. Nobody stops adults from giving cigarettes or tobacco to their kids, or younger siblings. Nobody stops kids from wandering much too far into curiosity, and taking one huff of a cigarette that can ruin their entire lives. Something needs to happen, and happen now. Not in ten years, when the average age of death has dropped to thirty because of addicted teens. Not in five years, when more and more tobacco products are being manufactured and purchased because of senceless reasons. Not in two years, when the education and knowledge of tobacco dangers stops becoming important to people. If no adults will take a stand, non-smoking kids, the few of us, will take a stand, because we are truly sick of the unawareness, and the heartlessness of smokers and tobacco companies. We are sick of being intoxicated with deadly poisons that make us sick, and kill us off bit by bit. We are sick of the fact that our parents will not listen to us when we ask them to stop. Addicts have no control. The only ones who can stop this, if the government, the very body who represents youth, will not. 200 chemicals, circulating through your body. Yellowing your teeth and fingernails. Tarring your lungs. Decreasing brain function. Trapping you in a world where your life revolves around smoking. Who wants a life that is ruled by a stick of rat poison? A can of black tar? Who wants a life where nobody cares who they are killing as long as they get the pleasure of a deadly puff of amonia. It's like breathing in the exaust from the tailpipe of a car. Smokers have no sence. They are careless.
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For something more drastic, but still truthfull: an anonymous email written to a tobacco company (below).
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YOU ARE ALL KILLERS! EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU! You expect to be paid to tar up peoples bodies? Each and every one of you will die a harsh and painful death for killing hundreds of thousands of people each year. I hope you realize how many people would pay to see you put in a guillotine. Right this very second, hundreds of little girls and boys are in the hospital because their mothers or fathers, or grandmothers and grandfathers are slowly dying of one of the many cancers you willingly hand to them. You kill peoples spirits, endanger lives, and set them up on a huge dose of nicotine so that they will fall deeper into your trap. Everyone that works for a tobacco company, EVERYONE is taking my blame for this. My grandmother is in critical condition with lung cancer, and it's because of your carelessness, heartlessness, and evilness! Damn you all to hell. You say that you are against teen smoking? Why don't you enforce it more? Half the people in my school, a junior high school, smoke your deadly drugs. Do you realize what you are doing to them and their families? Do you realize that they may never be able to have children, or may never live to see their graduation day? Do you realize that you are endangering thousands of lives, and that the leading cause of death in the US is caused from your products? I don't think you do. And if you don't read this the whole way through, then that makes you all the more heartless. You are criminals, and you should be punished with a sentence of death, or a lifetime in prison. How the government is letting you get away with murder, I don't know. Maybe all of us need a good ass kicking. I can't blame it all on you, because it's peoples choice to smoke, but there are so many factors that contribute to their beginning, and involuntary life of agony. Peer pressure, stress, curiosity, tobacco ads that make the stuff look good to people. You are all liars, criminals, and murderers. You are heartless, ignorant, and undoubtedly brainless. You are trying to kill off the entire population with your sick excuse. I have no remorse for any of you. No pity. Nothing but a wish that someday you will all learn your God damned lessons and stop killing people. To leave you with a last, more dramatic thought... Oops! Look! A hundred infants diagnosed with a deadly physical illness that they will have to suffer through for the rest of their lives because their mother smoked. But thats okay, isn't it? To you, everythings okay as long as youve got a stick of rat poison in your hand, everythings okay, because the earth revolves around you, doesn't it, big shots? And wow! Look what just killed off thousands of teens who just wanted to do something because their mom or dad does it! It will make them more "mature" and more "sophisticated" and "cool". No, no, my dear friends. It will make them DEAD. Lets hear you say that with your tar inflated lungs all gobbed up with smoke and chemicals.
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Knowing the truth about tobacco will hopefully lead you down the path to a better future. A smoke-free future. We need to group together and make tobacco illegal in the US, for the purpose of saving lives. Innocent lives, that are for no reason, taken every day. Please sign, and take action in your community to enforce the dangers of tobacco. Research it. Create posters, flyers, bumper stickers, pins, and buttons. Anything you can think of to spread the knowledge, and reduce the number of deaths in the US due to tobacco use. Create non-smoking groups. Advertise for a "Quit Club". Make surveys, billboards, or t-shirts. Do anything you can in your community. You need to start acting out against this, and start speaking for what you believe in. Please sign the petition. With enough signatures, we could make a law against smoking tobacco. This cannot happen immedately. Smokers need to be willing to quit, and need to be educated about what they are doing to their bodies. They need to understand that the smoke they give off is killing another human being. Please, do whatever you can to help. Write to family members that smoke, get them to stop. Show them this petition, educate them. Anyone can sign. Smokers who are willing to pledge that they will stop. Non smoking youth, activists, adults, teachers, or anyone else that wishes for there to be a law making tobacco completely illegal in the United States of America.