Is Smoking Ethical?

Ah! So, smokers have developed so much affinity for smoking that they suggested us to ‘leave this planet’. All this happened at the ICPR conference of young scholars, January 2016. I was also a participant there along with other friends (those who came there from different parts of India). During the break, when no moderator and judge was present, I proposed the idea of having a free debate and it got the form of a heated exchange of arguments (all good naturedly)! The issue came to smoking and the division was apparent – both sides of the table!

Alok Mishra in Smoking Debate at ICPR

Smoking Debate at ICPR 2016

The Smokers’ Claim:
It’s my right; it’s my life; I will smoke. If you have a problem, you can leave the planet earth!

Our Claim:
Smoking is dangerous; smoking is unethical.

The debate: Ethics and Morals of Smoking

Indeed, it’s tough to commemorate everything that happened in that debate. However, I will assume here all the smokers on one side and my imaginary team on the other. Now, let me have my turn.

Is smoking unethical? Is smoking immoral?
Well, indeed, for me, smoking is unethical as I don’t smoke. However, at the same time, it may be ethical for someone who loves to smoke. The thing that matters most is perspective. How do I perceive something is not the universal law; others are free to have their choices. Nevertheless, there are some universals that prevail in every constitution, every religion and in toto, humanity upholds those. I accept that it’s entirely the choice of someone who wishes to indulge in cigars and cigarettes. Howsoever hazardous it may be, you are free to wreck your body with it. For ‘you’ as a smoker, it is truly ethical. Now coming to the point of consciousness, is killing others a crime? Is forcing others to death unethical? Is polluting our environment immoral? A single answer that can fit all the questions is ‘yes’. I really hope everyone agrees with me when I say so. I will present some facts related to smoking.
When someone smokes a cigarette, the smoke that goes up into the air and mingles in our environment, contains benzene and carbon monoxide. We all know what these gases can do to our environment. Thus, this knowledge implies that a smoking person does not only harm oneself, he/she also harms the environment and ultimately the entire humanity! How great a culprit a smoker is, can you imagine? I will even go one step further and call all the smokers demons or giants who are a danger to the entire human race!
Let us talk about another fact. You must have seen the cigarette butts thrown here and there. A data says that 1.69 billion pounds of these butts end up as waste each year. Now, to make 300 cigarettes, one healthy tree is consumed. You can imagine the numbers coming further. And if then, a smoker comes in your vision next time talking about ‘saving tress’ just pluck the mick and say him a hypocrite! Not only that, the waste produced from cigarette butts is very much hazardous for the water that we consume. Thus, these shameless smokers are a peril to our fundamental rights as well. They pollute our water and we have to pay for their poisonous omission. Can you imagine someone’s ethics would allow bringing such catastrophe to humanity? Who should leave the planet earth, dear smokers?