Essay on Nationwide Smoking Ban: Smoking Should be Banned in All Public Places

Essay on Nationwide Smoking Ban: Smoking Should be Banned in All Public Places

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The effects of second-hand smoke have been well-known for decades; in fact, the Surgeon General warned the public about its dangers in 1972 (Schick & Glantz, 2005). Do people knowingly have the right to put others’ health at risk? No, they do not. Exposure to cigarette smoke is a public health risk. Therefore, smoking should be banned in all public places, nationwide.
There has been no attempt to impose a national smoking ban by the U.S. government. All current bans are in place because of state and local legislation. Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights lists the various state and local smoking laws that have emerged since the 1980s, and the regulations vary greatly (2010). This is extremely confusing. Some states have strict smoking bans in all public places, some states have regulations that vary from city to city, and some states have no public smoking bans at all. Some states have so many regulations it is hard to keep track of them all. For example, Kansas passed a state-wide smoking ban in 2010, but that ban still exempts tobacconists, private clubs, and casinos. Prior to the state-wide ban, it had numerous local bans; some included all restaurants and bars, but others exempted restaurants and bars that did not allow patrons under 18 (Koranda & Mann, 2010).
While almost half of the states have passed statewide bans, the exemptions often make the bans useless. For example, Missouri’s Health and Welfare statutes note that people can only smoke in “designated smoking areas” in public places, but a restaurant can have up to 30% of its space designated as a smoking area, and no separate ventilation is required (2010, Section 191.767). The areas not considered “public spaces” include “bars, taverns, restaurants that seat less th...


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...xposure to environmental tobacco smoke in restaurant and tavern workers in one US city. Journal of Exposure Analysis & Environmental Epidemiology, 10(1), 36-49. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.
Schick, S., & Glantz, S. (2005). Scientific analysis of second-hand smoke by the tobacco industry, 1929-1972. Nicotine & Tobacco Research, 7(4), 591-612. Retrieved from Academic Search Premier database.
Zdechlik, M. (2007, May 16). Governor signs statewide ban into law. Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved from http://www.wahpetondailynews.com/articles/2007/05/24/news04.txt.
Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights. (2010). Smokefree lists, maps, and data. Retrieved from http://www.no-smoke.org/goingsmokefree.php?id=519
Missouri Health and Welfare Statutes. Chapter 191: Section 191.767. (2010). Retrieved from
http://www.moga.mo.gov/statutes/C100-199/1910000767.HTM

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