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Cities have the right to ban smoking in public - Essay Example

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Topic: Cities Have the Right to Ban Smoking in Public. Date: Introduction: Humans have different cultures and prefer different lifestyles. Cigarette smoking over the past decades has not only become a lifestyle for some, but was on the verge of becoming a culture before governments saw it fit to introduce restrictions…
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Cities have the right to ban smoking in public
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Download file to see previous pages John Britton (2004) in his brief analysis on the “ABC’s of Smoking” highlights the numerous health risks related to both active and passive smoking. For starters, smoking is addictive owing to the massive amount of nicotine. Health specialists also report that Nicotine subsequently increases the levels of cholesterol in the body. Secondly there are other more serious risks such as lung cancer associated with tar, a major component of tobacco cigarettes. There are also numerous cardiovascular conditions that may arise such as Coronary thrombosis and cerebral thrombosis (Britton, 2004). The government postulates that putting a ban on public smoking will reduce the chances of these diseases claiming more lives than they already have. A national survey in America, for instance, indicates that tobacco related deaths supersede those related to AIDS, Murder and car crushes combined. Seeing as these deaths are preventable it would be against the public interest if the government did not take appropriate actions. This ban may also be beneficial to the smoker. Boyle et al (2010), postulate that the ban encourages the smokers to quit because they will smoke in only restricted areas. Reduced smoking will reduce the above mentioned diseases significantly and even mitigate the spiraling health care costs. In the year 2009, in light of the public smoking ban in Colorado, reports indicate that there was a 41% drop in heart attacks (Haber, 2010). However, other findings indicate that an individual under pressure such as the smoking ban is more likely to smoke more when they get the chance to do so (Britton, 2004). On the other hand, social behaviorists hope that reduced public smoking will reduce the chances of other people especially young people from adapting the habit. Nonetheless, there is something this ban overlooks in regard to the youth. First, youths derive pleasure from engaging in illegal activities more than legal ones. Secondly, other social media such television (movies in particular) makes smoking seem acceptable to the youth (Boyle et al, 2010). The most controversial stand both the pro smoking ban and those against it take is the constitutional approach. Persons who smoke claim the ban is against their personal liberties while non-smokers claim to smoke in public undermines their personal liberties (Brandt, 2009). The Fifth and fourteenth amendment dictate that personal liberties should not be deprived without due process. The Supreme Court agrees that the term “liberty” as described in Section One of the 14th Amendment is subject to ambiguity. John Locke in his writings on the Second Treatise on Government maintains that there are entities that are above individual rights (Brandt, 2009). These entities include the government and society. In view of this, for as long as personal liberties infringe on these two entities, the government can strike down the individual liberties. Stewart Mill is of the same opinion and voices this fact in his text “On Liberty”. In summary, societal rights take precedence over the rights of an individual in instances where the actions of an individual infringe on those of the public. With this argument coupled with the numerous health factors associated with smoking, banning public smoking is logical and imperative (Brandt, 2009). Much as, there is no “Right to smoke”, “due process on this matter according to critics is lacking in ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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