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Smoking Essay, Research Paper


Part I:

P1: The FDA wants to stop teens from smoking before they start.

P2: Three million youngsters smoke now.

P3: The smoking rate among eighth-graders has jumped 50% since 1991.

P4: This will not stop on its own.

P5: Tobacco company marketing and recently released internal memos show the industry

takes teens into its calculations.

P6: A Philip Morris 1981 memo worried it would “suffer more than other companies from

the decline in teen-age smokers”.

P7: R.J. Reynolds memos show it launched the cartoonish Joe Camel in the early 1990’sto

appeal to young-adult smokers.

P8: Camel became the third most popular (brand of cigarettes) among the under-18 set.

P9: If tobacco is ruled a drug, the FDA would have to ban cigarettes as “dangerous”.

P10: The government isn’t about to repeat the same mistake it made with the prohibition

of alcohol.

P11: There are 50 million adult smokers.

P12: Cigarette manufacturers spend millions annually to prevent (the banning of


P13: The $50 billion industry has spread campaign money lavishly.

P14: Among the state legislators to get them to preempt tough local laws against teen

tobacco sales with loophole-ridden state schemes.

P15: Among members of Congress to keep regulations at bay.

P16: Since the Republicans took over in 1995, FDA Commissioner David Kessler took in

$3 million in tobacco industry contributions.

P17: There are rumors the companies may make a $10 billion-a-year deal to settle their

liability suits.

C: We should support tougher regulations to keep tobacco companies from targeting

adolescents in their advertising strategies.

Part II:

This is an Inductive argument because it is intended to make the conclusion more

likely. It is relatively strong because it marshalls several plausible reasons, while some are

controversial and in need of further investigation.

P1: is plausible.

P2: is fairly plausible.

P3: is plausible.

P4: seems logical because the higher the number of children smoking, the higher the

possibility of peer pressure to smoke.

P5: is fairly plausible.

P6: is fairly plausible.

P7: makes sense, but requires further investigation.

P8: is plausible.

P9: is plausible.

P10: seems logical considering the problems associated with Prohibition.

P11: is plausible.

P12: makes sense.

P13: is fairly plausible.

P14: The reasons behind giving the campaign money in this premise are controversial.

P15: This premis is controversial and an opinion.

P16: is plausible.

P17: is unreliable and would need further investigation.

Part III:

P1: The FDA conceded that the prohibited ads “do not rely on objective product claims”.

P2: However, they feel that the ads must be controlled because they “create the

impression that smoking…is more prevalent and acceptable in society than it actually is”.

P3: The government cannot criminalize speech or imagery that takes issue with what it

feels should be “acceptable to society”.

P4: (implied) That is what a dictatorship, like Iran, does.

P5: This is not Iran.

P6: There is no evidence to suggest that advertising causes kids to smoke.

P7: The Canadian Supreme Court in 1995, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in 1994

and the U.S. Surgeon General in 1989 were all unable to unearth such evidence.

P8: Countries that have totally banned all tobacco advertising- like Norway- still have

teen-age smoking rates higher that in the United States.

P9: The FDA’s own focus groups identified “peer pressure; the desire to do something

they perceived to be an adult activity; and a way to rebel against their parents” as main

reasons for underage smoking.

P10: Advertising was not one of those reasons.

P11: FDA Commissioner David Kessler wrote “a strict application of ” FDA “provisions

would mean, ultimately, removal from the market of tobacco products containing nicotine

at levels that cause or satisfy addiction”

P12: Prohibition of cigarettes as we know them would be the result.

C: The Clinton administration’s stampede to save our kids from Joe Camel runs roughshod

over our most basic civil liberties, will do nothing to reduce teenage smoking and

threatens to actually ban cigarettes as we know them.

Part IV:

This is an inductive argument because it is meant to make the conclusion more

likely. It is a fairly strong argument because there are many plausible reasons with the

understanding that some are controversial and in need of further investigation.

P1: is plausible.

P2: is plausible.

P3: is logical because of the Constitutional right to free speech.

P4: is plausible.

P5: is true.

P6: is controversial but fairly plausible.

P7: seems logical but needs further investigation.

P8: is fairly plausible but needs further investigation.

P9: is plausible.

P10: is plausible.

P11: the plausibility of this statement depends on a series of consequences.

P12: is controversial.

Part V:

P1: Many places that sell cigarettes rarely or never check identification of those buying.

P2: Some states, such as New York, have implemented tougher laws to prevent minors

from purchasing cigarettes.

P3: According to the FDA’s focus groups, peer pressure is one of the leading reasons

teens begin smoking.

P4: Advertising has not been proven as a reason for under-age smoking.

P5: If the FDA succeeds in it’s attempts to restrict the tobacco industry, cigarettes as we

know them will be banned.

P6: Banning these cigarettes takes freedom of choice away from millions of adults.

C: We, as a country, need tougher laws on under-age smokers, but without trampling on

the civil liberties of adult smokers.

Part VI:

The number of under-age smokers is rapidly increasing. Peer pressure, and the

relatively easy access to cigarettes are the leading causes. Many attempts to reduce the

rate of teen smoking, including the new regulations that the FDA are trying to pass, have

trampled the civil liberties of the millions of adults, 18 and over, who are affected by them.

We, as a country, need to make laws tougher for minors who smoke, but not at the

expense of millions of other Americans.

There are many places in this country where an under-aged child can walk into a

gas station, or other type of connivance store, and purchase cigarettes with no questions

asked. The laws on selling “smokes” are so lax, or so under enforced, that these children

have extremely easy access. Kids as young as 14 or 15 have been known to be able to buy

without a problem. This ability to pick up cigarettes makes it easier for youngsters to

smoke. If the laws in under-age smoking were enforced on a tougher basis, it would

become nearly impossible for these kids to begin, let alone sustain, a smoking ritual.

Some states, such as New York, have implemented laws to make it much harder

for minors to purchase cigarettes. The most recent of these laws is that anyone, 26 years

of age or younger, who wishes to purchase cigarettes, must show ID. Since the venders

have to check the ages up of smokers to an age so much higher than the legal smoking

age, it is nearly impossible for any minor to “slip through the cracks”. There are also many

agencies and organizations that work toward reducing the rate of under-age smoking.

They, along with the help of many young adolescents, check to make sure that cigarette

venders are doing their jobs to prevent minors from purchasing cigarettes. If a store or

gas station is rumored to sell to minors, the agencies or organizations will set up a “test”.

They will send through someone who is under-age to see if they will check the ID of the

child. If other states adopted these or similar approaches to prevent minors from

purchasing cigarettes, then the problem of under-age smoking would be greatly reduced.

According to the FDA’s focus groups, one of the leading causes for teens to begin

smoking, is peer pressure. Unfortunately, the issue of peer pressure does not seem to be a

high priority in the prevention of under-age smoking. The more teens there are who

smoke, the higher the risk of peer pressure. Teens should be exposed to the risks of

smoking and have more education to combat the effects of peer pressure. If teens were

taught better ways to avoid such situations there would be a much lower risk of them

starting to smoke. Communities and school districts should get more involved in this

process, to show the kids that there are people out there that they can turn to if they have

questions or need help avoiding peer pressure. If everyone did just a little bit, the overall

effects would be enormous.

One of the big debates between the FDA and the tobacco industry, is advertising.

While it had never been proven, advertising is often blamed for the high rate of under-age

smoking. Even the kids who smoke, never quote it as a reason that they started. There

are some countries which have banned all advertising, such as Norway, and yet they have

higher teen smoking rates than the United States. So, while our government continues to

fight, and restrict the advertising of the tobacco industry, many far more prominent

reasons are being left almost untended. If the aspect of cigarettes that is “politically

correct” to fight, were left alone and the true risks and problems of teen smoking were

addressed, there would be a much greater reduction in the rate of smoking than there is


If the FDA and the Clinton administration continue on their rampage against the

tobacco industry, eventually a ban on cigarettes as we know them will occur. If the

provisions, laid out by the FDA are passed and strictly adhered to, then all cigarettes

containing nicotine at rates that satisfy an addiction will be pulled off the shelves and

banned from being sold. The millions of adult smokers in the United States will no longer

have the freedom of smoking. The choice they are allowed will be taken away from them

and there will be chance to fight back. That would clearly be a poor move on their part.

On behalf of all of the adult Americans who have chosen to smoke, we must fight

back now, before it is too late. While it is ethically moral for us to “save our children”

from the dangers of smoking, and prevent them from smoking unlawfully, we cannot do

so at the expense of millions of adults. When alcohol was prohibited, it proved to be an

enormous mistake. Now imagine what it would be like if cigarettes were banned, with the

50 million adult smokers already addicted to them.


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