The American Surgeon General has been warning people about the hazards of first hand and second-hand smoking but it seems that these warnings, studies, and polls do not affect smokers. They continue to fight for their right to smoke in public places and feel that their rights have been trampled upon because of the snowballing effect that moves to ban smoking in public places have had on their smoker’s lifestyles. I have done extensive reading on the pros and cons of the topic and have come to the decision that I see more logic, truth, and relevance to supporting a ban on smoking in public places.
Although I understand the need to respect smoker’s rights and give them their own space to enjoy their unhealthy habit, I value the medical studies more that indicate the harmful effects that passive smoking has on non-smokers. No, it is not true that as long as we have plants surrounding us, the air we breathe will be filtered from the harmful toxins released into the air. The reality is that if a nonsmoker is constantly exposed to the unfiltered end of a cigarette butt, that person is most likely to develop the same illnesses that a smoker would develop in the future. A nonsmoker is just as likely to develop lung cancer and emphysema although at a slower rate than an active smoker.
Of even greater concern to me is that children who are exposed to cigarette smoke have no idea that their lives are being put at risk by those around them. Studies have shown that children who have been exposed regularly to cigarette smoke often develop Asthma and middle ear infections.
Then, we also have the effect of smoking on the environment. Everybody knows about the greenhouse effect and how we have to cut down on pollutants in the environment if our planet is to survive and continue to support life forms. We keep going after the big companies and smoke belchers, and the like but, we neglect to start the change from within. By eliminating smoking in public, by quitting the nasty habit, we will have done our part in helping to save the environment as well.
In a Gallup Poll taken in 2005, there was a marked increase in public support for the ban on smoking in public places. According to Gallup Polls taken in 2007, There was a steady increase in the support for the ban on smoking in public places. Below is the survey graph bar that supports my claim:
It is not easy for anybody, especially the government, to ban smoking in public places. But, it is something that local, national, and federal governments must do to protect the public from unwittingly harming themselves and those around them. It is next to impossible to find any middle ground between smokers and nonsmokers due to all the health and environmental issues that cover the issue.
It is easier to say that a ban will be implemented and that you support a ban on smoking in public places. But, that is not to say that it cannot be done. The groundwork for the implementation of a total no-smoking rule in public places has already been put forth. All the government has to do now is make a good and honest effort to get people to quit smoking in public places. Perhaps by heavily taxing the cigarette products or, consistently increasing the cost of cigarettes until it prices itself out of the market and becomes unattractive for smokers to buy due to its prohibitive costs.
In the end, a ban on smoking in public places will benefit more people than we can ever imagine. It is a decision that will affect all the future generations to come and will see those future generations thanking the past generations for laying the groundwork that saved not only billions of lives but the planet we live on as well.
“Banning Smoking in Public Places: A Necessary Evil?” Ezine @articles. 2007. Web.
“More Smokers Feeling Harassed By Smoking Bans”. Gallup News Service. 2007. web.
“Smoking In Public Places”. Socyberty. 2007. Web.