The Effects Of Smoking On Public Places Essay

The Effects Of Smoking On Public Places Essay

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On October 17, 2013, a Sioux Native American man named Nathan passed away at the age of 53 due toof severe lung disease (“Nathan’s Biography,” 2015). He was a healthy individual, having previously served his country in the United States Marine Corps and enjoying an active lifestyle for years after he was discharged. Nathans hobbies included physically exerting sports such as motorcycle racing and taking part in his tribe’s ceremonial dance competitions. Why then, would an otherwise healthy man who had never smoked a cigarette in his life be subjected to an early death caused by damage to his lungs? The answer is simple: second-hand smoke. Nathan worked in a smoking-allowed Casino for 11 years, and day after day of exposure to cigarette smoke took its toll. While this may be an extreme example, the fact remains that smoking in public places has a definite negative health effect on those around the smoker, and this fact, coupled with the amount of litter caused by cigarette butts, combine to make a compelling argument for the need of nation-wide smoking bans in public areas and even private businesses.
Since the 1960s, the percentage of American citizens smoking tobacco has decreased by over half (CITATION NEEDED (“Trends,” 2013)). Much of this can be attributed to an increased awareness on the exceedingly harmful effects of smoking on the user’s health and well-being, including weakening of the immune system, heart disease, diabetes, impaired fertility and even various types of mouth, throat, and lung cancers (“The Health Consequences,” 2014)(CITATION NEEDED). However, even with this significant decrease, almost 20 percent of the American population still smokes on a regular basis. This represents millions of individuals ...


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... to inconvenience themselves to avoid the proven harmful effects of secondhand smoke? If smoking makes a portion of the population happy, they have a right to make that decision. However, they simply should not be allowed to infringe on other Americans’ right to their personal “pursuit of happiness.”
Between the extremely harmful nature of secondhand smoke and severe problem of cigarette littering in public locations, a ban on public smoking is clearly the more sensible option. All Americans from casino workers like Nathan to pregnant mothers deserve to live, work, and play in an environment free of ugly cigarette butts and smoke. By restricting the use of cigarettes in both indoor and outdoor public places nationwide, the government can create a safer, cleaner, and more appealing America, and ensure that stories like Nathans are the exception instead of the norm.

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