There has been some debate recently about whether smoking should be banned. Smoking has been considered a controversial issue recently due to many negative effects bring from it. Deborah Arnott, in her article “Legislation to ban tobacco will save thousands of lives” (Guardian, September 2009) suggest that smoking should be banned in all public places and in private as well. While David Hockney ‘s article, entitled “ The anti – smoking bigots should butt out “ (The Guardian Online, September 2008) takes the opposite view : smoking should not be banned.
This essay will critically respond to both of these articles. Arnott argues that the cost of social problems from tobacco are “far to great”. In fact, the system of public health has to pay a big amount of money , “millions of pounds” to cover sickness result from the harmful effects of smoking. And the government is the person who must cover and save their burgher’s health in any unsafe situation. Moreover, she claims that the exorbitant money spend for covering cigarette’s victims is uncontrollable by government.
In contrast, Hockney asserts that smokers have to pay a lot of high tariff, which belongs to government’s revenue. Thus, there is no evidence to show that smokers “cost” the NHS money from their smoking. In fact, if younger smokers die, the government will not spend anymore for them. Also, the government does not need to spend big amount of money to treat health problems from cigarette. While both authors present plausible arguments, those of Arnott are more convincing.
It seems to be more reasonable that saving people health is the responsibility of government to develop society and economy. In fact, the standard of living in a country cannot develop if the government does not take care health system standards. Moreover, the negative effects of smoking bringing to people are not only serious health problems but also the environmental pollution likes deforestation. Thus, the government has to deal with both healthy problems pressure and environmental pollution pressure.
A major flaw in Hockney’s argument is that if many young smokers die, government has to deal with lacking of mental young labour resource issue which affects the economic growth so much. Therefore, it is inconvincible when saying there is nothing to worry about death smokers. Arnott and Hockney also disagree with each other about the effects of smoking. Arnott claims that many persons smoke cigarette just due to the fashionable look but lung cancer or heart disease coming from smoking is unattractive anymore. Furthermore, she states 50% of all smokers will die from their tobacco smoking.
Hockney, on the other hand, claims that smoking can bring many benefits for uses. More specifically, smoking cigarette can help smokers relieve stress, calm down and feel more comfortable. Hockney’s arguments appear to be less clear. He misses the point that there is no scientific or medical research in the world proves that smoking can cure diseases relate to stress or emotion. In addition, it seems to be more reasonable that smokers want to smoke cigarette like a habit or addiction more than a way to relieve stress.
People are intelligent enough to find another way to relax likes playing sport or reading book, which brings them an optimistic vision and comfortable feeling without lung and heart disease. Arnott is seem to be more convincible because smoking is not only bring serious health problems to smokers but also for their families and people around their smoke. Although both authors have presented strong supports in their arguments, Arnott’s views seem to be more persuasive. Hockney’s arguments are less convincing since he uses ad hominem .
When arguing to Arnott’s view, he does not mention directly what she is saying, he forgets smoking issue but only focus on Arnott: “she is not offering immortality, most people laugh or shrug their shoulders”, “she is obsessed with death and saving lives”. Thus, using ad hominem is not a good way to make an academic argument. Although Arnott is a professional anti-smoker like Hockney says, she is more convincible when giving many statistics to show negative effects from tobacco. In conclusion, Deborah Arnott ands David Hockney have different perspectives on the law about smoking.
Arnott sees smoking bringing many negative effects to society and human health so it should be banned in all public places. Hockney, on the other hand, insists that smoking can also bring many benefits for users. In fact, smoking brings many serious health problems to users such as heart disease or lung cancer. Moreover, there is no medical research shows that smoking can cure diseases relate to stress. It would seem clear that people are intelligent enough to use and think carefully what is really good for their health and also their families.