By Leonardo Cervantes
California lawmakers’ brilliant proposal to eliminate the sale of tobacco products would save thousands of lives.
Assembly Bill 935 would implement a phased tobacco ban by prohibiting a tobacco retailer, as defined, from selling tobacco products to any person born on or after January 1, 2007.
One of the most addictive and harmful legal products sold in the United States could finally come to an end this spring. Developing an addiction worsens a person’s lifestyle and personal relationships with loved ones.
While every adult should have the right to purchase what they please, lawmakers would be saving the next generation from themselves.
Smokers are at greater risk to develop life-threatening diseases, such as lung cancer.
Smoking addiction impacts people in many ways. It affects their dating life, long-term health, looks and lifestyle.
Overcoming addiction is one of society’s most difficult tasks and nicotine addiction is amongst the worst.
Whether it be an eating addiction, drug addiction or alcohol addiction-once a person is addicted, they must overcome many obstacles.
“Nicotine has been proven to be as addictive as cocaine and heroin and may even be more addictive.
Many people who smoke develop nicotine dependence, which makes quitting all the harder, especially when they try to stop smoking on their own,” University of California San Francisco Medical Center said.
Kids and young adults are impressionable. If they see their favorite cartoon or movie character smoking, it can cause curiosity and the youth might imitate them when they grow older.
Tobacco companies have also marketed candy and sweet flavored tobacco products to encourage young adults to try smoking.
In 2022, California prohibited tobacco retailers from selling most flavored tobacco products. However, flavored premium cigars, hookah and loose-leaf pipe tobacco were excluded.
Even if AB 935 isn’t passed, small price increases is an alternative means of reducing nicotine addiction that lawmakers could pursue.
Raising the price of tobacco products annually through incremented taxes would have consumers second guessing their next purchase.
Although those with a strong addiction might continue to purchase tobacco no matter what.
Young adults with limited budgets would be more inclined to spend their money on a meal rather than a pack of cigarettes.
Tobacco even affects people’s love lives. Some partners can’t help looking down on their smoking partner when the ramifications are well known.
This can lead to a hard time maintaining relationship,which can lead to an increased sense of loneliness. Increased feelings of loneliness can lead smokers to smoke more, furthering the harm to their bodies.
Smoking tobacco is among the deadliest vices one can have. Smoking affects nearly every organ in the body and can lead to deadly diseases.
“More than 16 million Americans are living with a disease caused by smoking. For every person who dies because of smoking, at least 30 people live with a serious smoking-related illness. Cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States. This is nearly one in five deaths,” CDC said.
Unfortunately, even civilians who mind their business and don’t smoke, can be affected due to secondhand smoke.
“Secondhand smoke exposure contributes to approximately 41,000 deaths among nonsmoking adults and 400 deaths in infants each year,” CDC said.
It’s unfair for nonsmokers to alter their lifestyles and hobbies to get away from smokers. In order to be safe and not exposed to secondhand smoke they are forced to alter their daily routines.
Nonsmokers are pressured to leave a park early or choose not to eat at a specific place because smoking is allowed.
“In adults who do not smoke, secondhand smoke exposure can cause coronary heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, and other diseases. It can also result in premature death,” CDC said.
If this law were to pass, not only will it save the upcoming generation from themselves- but it will also make sure they don’t harm those who chose not to smoke.