Banning Smoking in Public Places: A Necessary Evil?

by Eric Hartwell - Date: 2007-02-22 - Word Count: 488 Share This!

Alongside the constant effort to encourage more smokers to quit smoking is the ever-present question as to whether smoking should be banned in public places. A lot of arguments have stemmed from this topic and many a friendship has ended because of this debate. Here are some of the strongest arguments for banning smoking in public places.

The most common complaint and the most obvious reason would be the effort of tobacco smoke on the surrounding environment. Now, this includes a wide range of things. There is the natural environment to look out for, and the health of the people in the immediate surroundings. Studies have shown that passive smokers suffer a great deal more than is imagined and this is a big reason why a push for banning smoking in public places is so important. Adults constantly exposed to cigarette smoke have been found to be more susceptible to developing the same smoking-related illnesses as the smokers themselves. Cancers, lung disease, and asthma are the most common diseases. Even worse, cigarette smoke in public places also harms children. Asthma and middle ear infection are the most noted illnesses of children exposed to second-hand smoke. Finally, the environment is also a victim of passive smoke as this adds to pollution- a problem that is already an increasing point of alarm worldwide. With all these facts in mind, banning smoking in public places seems like the most logical preventive measure.

Other reasons often heard have to do with work as well. Smoking increases illnesses and illnesses lead to absenteeism. Employers would serve themselves in promoting a smoke-free office. The fact that the chance to smoke is greatly lessened is one way to keep employees healthier. On a similar note, the employer is also duty-bound to protect other non-smoking employees from those hazards of being exposed to tobacco smoke. A ban on smoking in the office is definitely one way to solve all these attendant problems.

Finally, banning smoking in public places helps the person desperately trying to quit smoking actually quit. Triggers left by second hand smoke, which include the smell of the tobacco smoke in general, the smell left on clothes and other people's persons, and the general view of smokers, push the temptation to light up even further to the forefront. Opinions given often show that people trying to quit smoking feel that they would be greatly encouraged by an environment more conducive to their new, cigarette-free lifestyle. Thus, banning smoking in public places also helps increase the number of quitters.

Generally, the feeling is that public places are places for everyone; hence, there should be some responsibility to ensure each person's freedom. One aspect of this freedom is the right to inhale fresh air and not to be exposed to harmful health hazards. Passive smoking, no matter how far away still appears harmful to most. And this is the most basic reason why smoking should be banned in public places.

Related Tags: quit smoking, smoking, stop smoking, smokers, passive smoking

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