Liberals in America have been pushing hard to pass stricter gun control laws. They use the argument that guns kill and they want to save lives. They rarely admit that it’s not guns that kill, but it’s people that kill.
But when is the last time you heard any liberal push for stricter tobacco control laws or for the total banning of all tobacco products?
Compare the statistics that show that guns kill between 33,000 and 35,000 Americans a year and just smoking kills 480,000 Americans a year. That’s not to mention the 16 million Americans living with a tobacco related disease. Those diseases include heart disease, cancer, lung disease, stroke diabetes and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) which includes emphysema and chronic bronchitis.
Take a quick look at how many people in the US die every year from some of these tobacco causing conditions:
- Heart Disease – kills around 614,000 Americans per year (23.4% of all deaths)
- Cancer – kills around 591,699 Americans per year (22.5% of all deaths)
- Chronic Lower Respiratory Disease – includes COPD, emphysema, chronic bronchitis and asthma – kills about 147,000 Americans a year.
- Stroke – kills about 133,00 Americans a year
- Diabetes – kills about 76,000 Americans a year
Compare these numbers with the 33,000 Americans that die from guns. I’m not trying to trivialize gun deaths as any death is tragic, but when compared to the effects of tobacco use, gun deaths pale in comparison.
Look at the medical costs involved with tobacco use? The CDC:
“Total economic cost of smoking is more than $300 billion a year, including
- Nearly $170 billion in direct medical care for adults5
- More than $156 billion in lost productivity due to premature death and exposure to secondhand smoke.”
Just think of the billions of dollars and millions of lives that could be saved if tobacco was banned.
Millions of Americans would quickly begin reversing some of the harmful effects of tobacco.
When someone smokes tobacco products, the tiny hair-like structures in the lungs known as cilia become somewhat paralyzed and unable to move the mucus that builds up, out of the lungs and the lining of the lungs become inflamed. The mucus begins to accumulate, leading to coughing and eventually worse. Additionally, the blood stream picks up carbon monoxide from the smoke. The carbon monoxide replaces oxygen in the blood stream, resulting in the loss of energy and muscle function causing fatigue. Prolonged use results in the accumulation of dangerous toxic chemicals in the lungs that often cause cancer. The lack of oxygen in the blood over a prolonged period leads to heart disease, stroke and diabetes as well lung diseases.
When someone stops smoking, it doesn’t take long for the inflammation in the lungs to begin to heal. The cilia again begin to function normally, moving mucus up and out of the lungs. They work to clean the lungs of dirt, mucus and even some of the toxic chemical residues. As the lungs clean out, it reduces the risk of lung cancer and more.
The overall benefit of banning tobacco products greatly outweighs the benefits of banning guns from law abiding citizens (criminals will always find a way to get a gun if they really want to). Therefore, there is a far greater reason to push stricter tobacco control laws than gun control laws. Besides saving 20 times more lives a year, it will reduce the cost of healthcare for everyone.