Secondhand Smoking Case Study

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1.1 Incidence of Smoking Cigarette smoking is one of the leading causes of death across the globe. Roughly six million people die every year caused by smoking addiction and exposure to secondhand smoking (World Health Organization, 2016). It can impair nearly every organ of the body and can make one more susceptible to life-threatening diseases, including coronary heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, type 2 diabetes mellitus and bronchitis (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ). Smoking can also affect overall well-being of individuals through other ways including reduced fertility and immune function (cite). Notwithstanding these, it is still one of the most common health-risk behaviors people engage in (U.S. Department of Health…show more content…
This concept is best explained as the concept of negative externalities, which is discussed contentiously in the field of public economics. Negative externalities is defined as the consequences arising from production and consumption of goods that affect other individuals to whom no appropriate compensation is given. Externalities is manifested in secondhand smoking, which may also be difficult to valuate. When negative externalities exist, the economy is said to be producing and consuming at levels higher than the optimal where net social benefits are not maximized. (Folland et al., 2013). With the damages and inefficiency associated with smoking, a market failure exists, which warrants government intervention in regulating consumption (Gruber,…show more content…
The tobacco industry is targeting a shift to selling its products among the youth, especially in lower and middle income regions like the Philippines (The Manila Times, 2015). The extent of the problem is quite drastic, as one in four Filipino children, aged thirteen to fifteen, were reported to have been smokers (Global Youth Tobacco Survey, 2015). The youth generally claim to participate in smoking as it gave them a feeling of superiority and morale while some believed that smoking alleviates stress and depression. Some other factors that increase incidences of smoking among the youth are use by their own parents and peers; exposure to tobacco advertisements, which include covert advertising depicted as a social norm in movies; having depression, anxiety or stress; and last but not the least, high accessibility and affordability of tobacco products (cite). John Britton from the University of Nottingham’s UK Center for Tobacco and Alcohol Studies was even quoted saying that the tobacco industry generally profits from capitalizing on the the susceptibility of the youth into engaging in risk behaviors. (1) Smoking addiction can also be damaging to the youth through emotional or psychological distress and reduced learning capabilities. Smoking increases deviant behavior with regards to school attendance, as the act is heavily forbidden in educational institutions

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