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Virginia Beach: Smoking Controversies - Research Proposal Example

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Virginia Beach: Smoking Controversies Smoking has been a big issue in the past years. At first it was a popular habit. People thought that it was cool to smoke. Advertisements in magazines and on television showed happy, sophisticated people taking a puff on their favorite brand…
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Virginia Beach: Smoking Controversies
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Download file to see previous pages After that came the realization that second-hand smoke was just as bad. People who never smoked were developing conditions just from being around smoke. The topic became an issue of public health. The governmental agencies began calling for precautionary measures to protect the general public from the hazards of smoke. The first steps were to designate separate non-smoking areas. People who did not smoke had to sit in special areas away from all the polluted air. These areas were small and out of the way. However, more and more people joined the non-smokers group as they witnessed firsthand the destruction that the smoking habit could cause in a person’s lives. For some people, the switch was due to their own adverse health experiences. For others, possibly a majority, the switch was because of what they had seen take place in the lives of other smokers. It is an awful thing to watch your loved one die of COPD, or some other horrific lung disease caused by smoking, and realize that all the suffering and pain could have been avoided. As the population of nonsmokers grew, so did the need to expand the smoking regulations. It was no longer sufficient to provide a place of relief for people who did not smoke, but they had to place stricter limitations on people who did smoke. Although the bans on smoking have spread all across the United States, this paper will take a look at the struggles that occurred in one place in particular; Virginia Beach. It was only in the past couple of years that the smoking ban at Virginia Beach went into effect. There have been numerous efforts to squash public smoking in the area. Smoking bans have been passed though the Virginia Senate and have been addressed by the state’s governor. It was Gov. Timothy Kaine who had called for a statewide ban on smoking in restaurants in 2008 (Sluss, 2008). However, it was not until a year later, in 2009, that he had the privilege of signing the ban into law (Nolan, 2009). Virginia Senate had already addressed this concern. In 2006 they had voted to ban smoking in “restaurants and virtually all public places” (Helderman, 2006). This was a giant step considering that up until the late 1990’s lawmakers openly smoked on the floor of the Senate (Helderman, 2006). Yet, at that time the bill had a very little chance of passing the House of Delegates, and, due to the latter actions of Gov. Kaine, this action was clearly unsuccessful. Having finally been put into law, the smoking ban has met with some opposition. Virginia Beach is hugely a tourist economy. Many of the restaurants in the city favor the customers’ preference to smoke. While smoking has been growing in unpopularity, Virginia has historically been a region of tobacco in America. In the past, tobacco was the major crop of the state and a large American export. Before the American Revolution, tobacco was the country’s second highest export after cotton. The cigarette manufactures still call this region home. This has birthed a population of people that are ‘pro-smoking’. Adding to the challenges of the smoking ban in Virginia Beach is the fact that it has not been very strictly enforced. There has been no ambush of police officers running to hand out $25 tickets to all the smokers who defiantly light up in public places. To the horror of those who are adamantly opposed to smoke, they may find that they occasionally are still subject to second- hand smoke. As ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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