Cigarette smoking is the greatest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States. Secondhand smoke causes numerous lung cancer deaths annually. Measures have been taken in both workplaces and public places to limit exposure to secondhand smoke. The economic cost of smokers to society is phenomenal- it includes monetary costs, lost workdays and shortened work lives. Many states are establishing and maintaining comprehensive tobacco-control programs to reduce tobacco use. They provide education to our youth to prevent them from ever starting and smoking cessation programs for individuals that currently wish to stop smoking. Education and support are known ways to eventually prevent smoking in the future.
Efforts to increase the public perception of the harmful effects of tobacco must utilize a comprehensive approach that affects policy development, education strategies and health care systems. Smoking is becoming more and more unfashionable as time goes on. There are many studies conducted showing that secondhand smoke is a health hazard to both the smoker and anyone that relies on the same air supply, not to mention the unpleasantness and discomfort it causes those that do not smoke. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that it is estimated that secondhand smoke that emerges from exhaling and burning cigarettes causes approximately 3,000 lung cancer deaths and 37,000 heart disease deaths in nonsmokers each year. (Nolo, 2002). According to a 1998 Gallop poll, 94% of Americans, including both smokers and nonsmokers, agree that companies should either ban or restrict smoking to properly ventilated areas. Another Gallop poll indicates that 95% of nonsmokers, and 69% of smokers, think California's ban on smoking in almost all workplaces is positive. Some companies are now refusing to hire anyone who admits to smoking on a job application because of higher healthcare insurance, absenteeism, unemployment insurance and workers' compensation insurance associated with these individuals. (Nolo, 2002). Those that do not smoke feel it is an infringement of what they consider to be a reasonable right not to have to breath other people’s cigarette smoke while at work. During the 1970’s the dangers of secondhand smoke were beginning to amass and a movement for nonsmokers emerged. When it was proven that secondhand smoke was ...
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...ity and Mortality Weekly Report, Guidelines for School Health Programs to Prevent Tobacco Use and Addiction, (Vol. 43). No. RR-2.
Lee, P.R. (1994). Preventing Tobacco Use Among Young People, A Report of the Surgeon General, Retrieved June 7, 2002, from http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/sgryth2.htm.
Nolo Law for All, (2002). Smoking in the Workplace: Still a Burning Issue, Retrieved May 16, 2002, from http://www.nolo.com.lawcenter/ency/article.cfm/objectID/5622E54E-4494-B…
Office of the Surgeon General, You Can Quit Smoking, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2002). Retrieved June 10, 2002, from http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/tobacco/consquits.htm.
State of Delaware, (2002, May 31). Governor Ruth Ann Minner Signs Landmark Ban on Smoking In Delaware's Indoor Public Areas, Retrieved June 4, 2002 from http://www.state.de.us/governor/news/2002/05May/053102-SB99.htm.
University of Nevada, Reno, Robert Shubinski, M.D., (1999, March 9). Costs of Tobacco Use, Retrieved May 16, 2002 from http://unr.edu/homepage/subinsk/smokost1.htm
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Preventing Tobacco Use Among Young People, A Report of the Surgeon General, (1994).
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