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To Smoke Or not to Smoke - is the Question

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As years and generations pass, the cultural relevance and general acceptance of smoking has been on a steady decline. Throughout the years, smoking has gone from a favorite pastime of the American public, in the later half of the twentieth century it was acceptable everywhere you can imagine from restaurants to office places, but in the past twenty years or so the newer generations have turned the acceptance of smoking on its head. Nowadays, smoking is so frowned upon by the general public that it should be banned from being taken part in public. Due to many health issues that smoking can bring to not only the smoker, but also everyone close enough to the smoker to breath the smoke. Smoking bans have been placed into effect in an effort to protect the public from the effects of second-hand smoke, which health risks such as risk of heart disease, cancer, emphysema, and other diseases. Various laws implementing bans on indoor smoking have been brought into effect various countries over the years, with some government legislators citing scientific evidence that shows a correlation of tobacco smoking is both harmful to the smokers themselves and to those around them that are inhaling second-hand smoke.

Smoking in public does not just harm the person who is smoking themselves but it also affects every single person around them. Just the smallest breath of cigarette smoke can significantly increase the risk of a heart attack according to David Meyers, M.D., M.P.H., professor of Cardiology and Preventive Medicine, University of Kansas School of Medicine “Even breathing in low doses of cigarette smoke can increase one’s risk of heart attack”. Research like this has brought evidence that second-hand smoke causes the same health risks as direct smoking, including lung cancer, cardiovascular disease, and lung ailments such as emphysema, bronchitis, and asthma. Specifically, lifelong non-smokers with partners or family who smoke in the home have up to 20–30% greater risk of lung cancer than a non-smoker family. This also affects non-smokers who have been exposed to cigarette smoke in the workplace with an increased risk of lung cancer up to 16-19%.

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With many states the nation adoption of laws banning smoking in public there are many benefits than just less smoke in the air. In addition, such laws may reduce health care costs, improve work productivity, and lower the overall cost of labor in the community thus protected, making that workforce more attractive for employers. In thirty-two states and numerous cities across the United States, smoking bans have been established. in the workplace and public areas.. As more policies are introduced to protect nonsmokers from second hand smoke, these efforts will yield great public health benefits in the form of reduced disease, disability and deaths. In the state of Indiana, the economic development agency included in its 2006 plan for acceleration of economic growth encouragement for cities and towns to adopt local smoking bans as a means of promoting job growth in communities. Other studies have proven that without smoking workers can be more efficient and have far fewer absences, “Former smokers showed an increase in seven of 10 objective productivity measures as compared to current smokers, with a mean increase of 4.5%”. In this study show that overall without smoking the workplace can become more efficient, this relates to public places due public workplaces and such.

Although there would be many benefits, it would definitely be unreasonable to completely ban smoking in the United States. There are still too many Americans addicted to smoking to completely stop, so why not find other compromising solutions that will please both groups of people, smokers and everyone else. Some solutions that have been brought up are banning smoking around outdoor dining areas. Scientific research used in new law propositions in Los Angeles, are reasoning that “Standing within two feet subjects you to exposure comparable to being indoors with that smoker. Move seven feet away, however, and you’re breathing normal air. Many of the 96 million Americans cannot savor lying on beach blankets or enjoy a concert in a park where smoking is tolerated because of chronic conditions like asthma and bronchitis which make them especially susceptible to tobacco smoke. Some of these people are entitled to protection under the Americans With Disabilities Act. They may be entitled by law to designated accommodations, presumably ones which protects them from drifting tobacco smoke. The reason for banning smoke around building entrances is straightforward.No one should not be forced to breathe known carcinogenic substances for even the briefest periods of time, and because even brief exposure can also be bothersome and aggravating to many people, nonsmokers should not be compelled to “run a gauntlet” of smokers congregated around the exits and entrances to their workplaces, or other buildings which they are likely to frequent. Additional rationales for smoking restrictions include reduced risk of fire in areas with explosive hazards; cleanliness in places where food, pharmaceuticals, semiconductors, or precision instruments and machinery are produced; decreased legal liability; potentially reduced energy use via decreased ventilation needs; reduced quantities of litter; healthier environments; and giving smokers incentive to quit. In areas where smoking bans are enforced, hospital admissions for strokes and heart attacks are reduced.

So actually many actually public health risks essentially are enough to ban cigarettes alone, also increases productivity and economic benefits from the banning of particularly public smoking are all reasons many basically have kind of come together to fight for smoking bans in a subtle way. Also the public perception of smoking for all intents and purposes has been actually put in generally such a negative spotlight in recent generations that it for the most part is just “not cool” anymore, unlike past generations.

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