It's Time to Ban Smoking in Public Places

It's Time to Ban Smoking in Public Places

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     According to published research, an estimated 1,323 Americans die each day from a smoking related illness. Smoking is the number one preventable cause of death in the US (Bilofsky, 1). Smokers only make up approximately 26% of the US population, but those 26% affect all of us. A number of diseases can be caught from second hand smoke, or passive smoking, including a number of cancers throughout the body, emphysema, asthma, and cardiovascular problems. Second hand smoke has been proven to be harmful to smokers and non-smokers. A ban on smoking in all public places would greatly decrease the health hazards related to smoking.

     We have a right to clean air and to a safe environment, smoking should be banned in public places for man reasons, including the fact that it is a hug health risk for both smokers and non-smokers. We find smoking to be irritating for a number of reasons. The smell of smoke is awful, it clings to your clothing, and it affects the breath of the smoker. Smoke in the air is also irritating to the eyes, causing them to water and itch. Personal hygiene is affected too: smoke stains your teeth and can cause sores inside the mouth. Smoking, simply put, just looks stupid. Smokers whether they like it or not, are criticized and judged daily by stranger just for having a cigarette in their mouth. Frankly, we believe smoking to be a complete waste of the time spent smoking and the money.

     Dealing with the concerns of health, or health-related problems, we have to take into consideration ETS, or Environmental Tobacco Smoke. ETS is defined as a diverse and dynamic mixture consisting of several thousand constituents (Hanneman, 3). A physical separation of smokers and non-smokers in a public place isn’t enough. Separate ventilation systems are needed because approximately 1 million square feet of building area per one smoker is required to achieve minimal acceptable exposure levels to non-smokers (Goodfellow, 68). It is unfair for one person’s nasty habit to affect another person’s health. In a poll taken in the state of California both smokers and non-smokers were asked how they felt about the states no smoking law for restaurants and bars and their desire to eat there. 85% on non-smokers and smokers both said that they would be "more likely to go" to a smoke free environment (Bellman, 1).

     Currently 48 states and the District of Columbia have Clean Air Acts intact ("Environmental Tobacco Smoke").

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The state of California has a law that prohibits smoking of any kind inside any restaurant, bar/restaurant, or gaming club ("Breath"). Many communities throughout the US have taken a stand on smoking and have their own policies. Will other states follow California’s lead? We certainly hope so. Laws emposed against smoking may infact help smokers quit. A large majority of smokers legitimately want to quit, but have no drive to. With no-smoking laws intact the indoor air would be safer.

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