Cigarette smoking is one of the leading causes of deaths in the world. Although governments have tried to ban smoking and impose high taxes on cigarettes, it is still quite prevalent among all age groups, including minors.
Timeline on Health Warning on Cigarettes and Some Weird Laws
We know that cigarettes are bad for health, and cigarette packets are suppose to warn people of the same. However, this did not happen overnight. In 1971, the warning was on the left side of the packet and mentioned that smoking could damage health. In 1991, the EU passed tighter laws and this mandated cigarette manufacturers to state explicitly that on the front of the pack that tobacco seriously damages health. More warnings were listed on the reverse of the pack. In 2003, it was mandated that 30 percent of the pack should have health warning; and 2008 cigarette packs also had to carry pictures of various diseases. The laws pertaining to smoking in some places is really weird. For instance, in Zion, Illinois, it is illegal to give a lighted cigar to a domestic animal or in Rhode Island you can smoke a pipe during the day but not after sunset, as it is illegal.
Taxes on Cigarettes
Since 2009, the US has seen quite a bit of hike on cigarette taxes. 19 US states and District of Columbia along with the federal government have increased taxes on cigarette quite a bit. New York imposes a tax of $4.35 on each pack of cigarettes, while the state with the lowest tax is Missouri where it is just 17 cents. In 2009, state and local governments earned $17.1 billion as revenue from cigarette tax. In 2011, the federal government earned $15.5 billion through taxes on tobacco products.
Electronic Cigarettes and Tobacco Cigarettes
Research has shown that electronic cigarettes better than smoking tobacco cigarettes and are completely safe. As an electronic cigarette contains NRT products, it can help with the smoking habit. It does not contain harmful chemicals like a tobacco cigarette, which contains about 4,000 chemicals. Unlike tobacco cigarettes, electronic cigarettes do not cause secondhand smoke.
About 1.35 billion people in the world are smokers. In the US, the highest percentage of smokers is Native Americans, followed by the Whites and then the African Americans. Nearly 25 percent of all high school students in the US are smokers. Everyday 1,000 people under the age of 18 become daily smokers. Across the world, 5 million deaths each year are directly attributed to smoking, while in the US the figure stands at 443,000.
Creation of a Cigar
A cigar is made from three kinds of tobacco leaves, namely wrapper, filler and binder. The proportion in which these leaves are used determines the taste and flavor of the cigar. The wrapper is the outer layer of the cigar, while majority of the cigar is made up of the filler leaves. The binder helps to keep the filler leaves in place. A cigar also contains leaves that are used as a filter. Cigars can be made manually or using a machine.
Understanding Electronic Cigarettes
Electronic cigarettes are ideal for people looking to quit smoking. These cigarettes contain no tobacco and can reduce nicotine cravings manifold. The cigarettes are available in two types – the 2-pack and 3-pack types. The two types are differently designed, but can be used where tobacco cigarettes are banned. They come with a warranty and contain no tar. The refills are relatively cheap and save money. The battery of an electronic cigarette can be recharged 200 times, while the atomizers come with a 3-day warranty.
Which is Better – Tobacco Cigarette or Electronic Cigarette?
If an average smoker smoking 1 pack a day switches to electronic cigarettes, he will save $1,200, as the e-cigarettes are cheaper to buy than tobacco cigarettes. Cigarette butts are not environmentally-friendly and are considered toxic and unusable. Every year 600 million trees are cut down and used as fuel to dry tobacco leaves. On the other hand, e-cigarettes can be recycled, making them a greener alternative to tobacco cigarettes. E-cigarettes contain just 5 ingredients in comparison to tobacco cigarettes, which contain 7,000 chemicals, many of which are toxic and carcinogenic. Also, electronic cigarettes contain no tar, smoke, odor or ash.
Evolution of Smoking
In 5000 BC, smoking was used for medicinal and ritualistic purposes. In 1000 BC, the Brazilians invented the cigarette and the Mayans began smoking as well as chewing tobacco. Tobacco made its way in Europe when Christopher Columbus took it back with him to Spain in 1492; and 1578 saw Sir Walter Raleigh bringing tobacco to the UK. In 1650, tobacco became so popular that it was used as money. And, with cigarette making machines being invented in 1850, cigarettes were massed produced. In 1966, cigarette packets were sold with health warnings. And, in 2006 e-cigarettes came into the scene.
The Tobacco Market
While the US government has tried in many ways to stop the use of tobacco, it has been unsuccessful. Due to tobacco, 250 million children, who are alive today, will die in the future. Philip Morris is responsible for manufacturing 180 billion cigarettes every year, and this company controls 50 percent of the market in the US. Across the world, 5.5 trillion cigarettes are smoked every year. In 2006, $12.4 billion was spent in the US by tobacco companies in advertising.
Smoking Laws in the US
Many states in the US have banned smoking in restaurant, bar and workplace. Some of the states, like Alaska, require workplaces and public places to have designated smoking and non-smoking areas. Wyoming does not have a statewide smoking ban, with it being illegal to smoke in places where smoking can cause an explosion and in underground mines. In Massachusetts, guardians and parents can offer one cigarette to minors, but it is illegal to sell cigarettes to minors.