But can a society which calls itself moral and just continue to exploit the desires of its citizens, and continue to make profit on a product which is harmful to those who use it? In the 1970's, the Ford Motor Company encumbered significant fines for producing the Ford Pinto automobile. Consumers discovered that in specific circumstances, the gas tank exploded, and causing serious harm to the car's passengers. In the late 20th century, Bridgestone Firestone was found legally liable for rollover accidents when their poorly designed tires fragmented, and failed prematurely. Warehouses are still filled with defective tires as the company struggles with the aftermath of the most expensive product recall in the country's history.
Shouldn't a product which kills people slowly, but just as surely as an exploding gas tank and a rollover accident, also be banned form the consumer marketplace? Shouldn't a government which regulates the age at which its members can drink and drive also set limits on dangerous products? In other industries, products have warnings, or are distributed only through certified professionals. The country agrees that other drugs, such as marijuana, are illegal because of the detrimental effects these products cause. Why won't the government and society apply the same standard to another deadly product, and outlaw its use as well?
History repeats itself when we don't learn from it, and the history of cigarette use is repeating itself in new generations. Cigarettes are no longer the choice of the rich and affluent. Rather the poor and lower class choose to use cigarettes. Today, just as in colonial times, the cigarettes make money for those who produce them, and create even more revenue for the government which taxes their sale and distribution. Just as the poor produced the products on plantations, and wealthy land owners amassed fortunes at their expense, today government and corporations amass fortunes of the poor who still chose to enjoy a dangerous, legal product. Again I ask, shouldn't a government which seeks to be just, and watch over the welfare of its citizens outlaw a proven dangerous product?