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Smoking in public places - Essay Example

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Smoking is a significant cause of many deaths and forces governments and individuals to incur massive medical expenses in treatment of smoking induced illnesses. Many studies, surveys, and scientific researchers have pointed that…
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Smoking in public places
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Should smoking in public places be allowed? Smoking in public spaces should be banned. Smoking is a significant cause of many deaths and forces governments and individuals to incur massive medical expenses in treatment of smoking induced illnesses. Many studies, surveys, and scientific researchers have pointed that smoking is deeply injurious to human health. According to Centre for Disease Control (2003), approximately 8.6 million Americans have serious illnesses caused or related to smoking. This is an overwhelming number of victims, especially bearing in mind that the devastating smoking related illnesses are preventable (Sloan et al. 5).
Banning smoking in public places will result to saving of many lives as well as monetary costs (Cunningham 250). Nevertheless, smokers are a significant source of tax income to governments, and prohibiting smoking in public places will undoubtedly reduce the income. Second hand smoke or environmental tobacco smoke, which lingers in the air hours after extinguishing of cigarettes or stoppage of smoking, has adverse health effects such as cancer, respiratory infections, and Asthma.
Active smokers in public places needlessly expose nonsmokers to grave danger. Secondhand smoke contains 4000 kinds of chemicals; 43 of these chemicals are carcinogenic attributable to thousands of lung cancer deaths, respiratory tract infections, and heart diseases among nonsmokers (Rabin 213). The only logic to minimize the ballooning number of smoking induced diseases among passive smokers is banning smoking in public.
Allowing smoking in public is sound. First of all, the broad scale prohibition of smoking in public is prejudicial against smokers whose rights should be safeguarded (Rabin 214). Public establishments should reinforce the needs of the public wholeheartedly but not sideline certain individuals because of their personal choices. Banning smoking in public spaces such as bars jeopardizes the sustainability of the places. It may also result to business closure since smokers shift to spaces where smoking is unrestrained such as at home. Nevertheless, banning smoking is compensatory as smoke free zones will equally attract non-smokers who do not want to be exposed to second hand smoke.
Banning smoking in public is helpful as it minimizes the frequency of smoking as well as forces smokers to surrender the habits altogether. Banning smoking in public breaks the sequence or renders it harder for smokers to keep up with their habit such as having to leave the bar to have a cigarette. This compels smokers to reduce the frequency of smoking or abandon the habit (Sloan et al. 15). Nevertheless, most of the studies that indicate a fall in smokers due to ban mostly simulate those who struggle to quit smoking.
Banning smoking in public oversteps the bounds since smokers have a right to enjoy themselves too. In fact, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights attests that all people bear equal dignity and rights (Rudy 175). Since each person is endowed with reason and conscience, smokers should not be targeted for their personal choice. However, whereas every person has rights, the exercise of rights should not sacrifice health or welfare of others.
Personally, I strongly support banning of smoking in public. Smoking in public encroaches on many people’s rights by compromising their ability to enjoy public spaces devoid of being subjected to the suffocating and harmful smoke. Although we live in a democratic society featuring respect for individual rights, smoking should be done in isolation. The universal declaration of human rights stipulates that every person has a right to standard of living sufficient for the health and wellbeing of himself or herself and family. Sharing a public space with smokers jeopardizes one’s health, which is an inherent right.
Works Cited
Cunningham, Rob. Smoke and Mirrors: The Canadian Tobacco War. Ottawa: International Development Research Centre, 1996. Print.
Rabin, Robert. Regulating Tobacco. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. Print.
Rudy, Jarett. The freedom to Smoke: Tobacco Consumption and Identity. Quebec, McGill-Quenn’s University Press. Print.
Sloan, Frank, Ostermann, Jan, Picone, Gabriel, Conover, Christopher & Taylor. Donald. The price of Smoking. Cambridge: Massachusetts Institute of Technology Press, 2004. Print. Read More
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