Why Smoking Should Be Banned in Public

Smoking should be banned in all public places to protect people from second-hand smoke and stop promoting the visual to minors. The cigarette is a small but deadly habit enjoyed by 45. 3 million Americans. Smoking is illegal inside most public restaurants and buildings as well as on school property. But, why should cigarette smoking be banned in all public spaces, including outside public establishments? The most obvious reason is second-hand smoke and the damage it causes to others who don’t want to be exposed to cigarette smoke.
A ban on all public smoking would improve the air quality in each town, spare people from smoke exposure, decrease the overall amount of smoking, and make it less visible to children and teens as an accepted norm. The negative effects of second-hand smoke are scientifically documented and provide a valid reason for banning all public smoking. This proposal would likely upset many people since it may seem a bit constraining and overly invasive at first. Why are people not allowed to drink alcohol on the streets, walking throughout a town or city?
If someone were to do this they would get a ticket or arrested for public intoxication. It is unhealthy for the person drinking and dangerous for everyone else around the person drinking. The same principle applies for smoking cigarettes. It is unhealthy for the person smoking and for everyone around them that happens to be outside. The people who aren’t smoking deserve the right to clean air and the right to not be exposed to harmful chemicals found in nicotine. This individual right outweighs the individual right to smoke in an outdoor, public place. The smoking addiction is undoubtedly just that, an addiction.

If people truly grasped what they were doing to their bodies, then everyone would quit smoking unless they wanted to die young. This addiction, like any other addiction, needs outside action taken to prevent the person in addiction from further harm. In this case, each state and/or city should enact a ban on smoking in outdoor public places. This ban should exclude peoples homes or personal property but it should includes all buildings, establishments, streets, parks, and anywhere else that people gather. The only exception to banning someone from smoking in their own house should be if they have children.
It may seem like an invasion of privacy and too much government control but the more important issue here is the safety of children. If there are children under the age of 18 living at home then it should be illegal to smoke in the house or car or within a certain distance of them, even at home. The second-hand smoke that these children are inhaling is not their choice and they are being subject to life-threatening disease and illness. In addition to being exposed to harmful chemicals, children who are around smoking will become more likely to smoke themselves.
The deadly cycle will continue and more people will become addicted to smoking cigarettes. Without government intervention, this is an issue that will not change and lives will continue to be lost due to the negative effects of cigarette smoking. Portland, Oregon is taking this issue seriously. Public smoking is banned within 25 feet of a playground or picnic table. This city understands the health concerns for people who choose not to smoke. The beauty of living in a free country is that any individual may choose whether to smoke cigarettes or not.
An individuals choice is taken away from them when people are allowed to smoke on streets and in outdoor public spaces. A law that prevents people from smoking in any public space, whether indoor or outdoor, would truly give non-smokers the choice not to inhale cigarette smoke. At a professional sporting event, even an outdoor one, smoking is banned almost everywhere. It is accepted as the social norm not to smoke while sitting in your seat and watching the game because it might bother another person sitting nearby. This same concept should be used to ban smoking while walking on a sidewalk or standing outside a building.
One of the biggest and most important reasons to ban all public smoking is the safety of children. Our government and states have made extensive laws, and rightly so, to protect children from abuse and neglect. This includes entering some ones private home if there is reason to believe the child is in danger. Children have no say whether or not to be abused and no child wants to or should be. No child wants to be addicted to cigarettes or chooses to have the lasting, harmful effects that cigarettes bring on a person. Our government seems to be taking small steps in the right direction but is still focused on only one part of the issue.
According to the FDA, “Every day nearly 4,000 kids under 18 try their first cigarette and 1,000 kids under 18 become daily smokers. Many of these kids will become addicted before they are old enough to understand the risks and will ultimately die too young of tobacco-related diseases. FDA is working to protect the health of America’s children and ultimately reduce the burden of illness and death caused by tobacco use. ” (“Save”) The stats are alarming as to how many children are smoking. A public ban on smoking would reduce the amount of cigarettes smoked and the amount of people who begin smoking due to lack of public exposure.
Every time someone smokes a cigarette they are giving free advertising to the tobacco industry. If you watch an old movie you will notice that smoking was socially accepted and even a part of being sophisticated. We have come a long way since the 1930’s and 1940’s but still have a large room for improvement. The visual aspect is the greatest one to overcome. If we can eliminate public smoking, it will decrease the amount of people who being smoking while also creating a healthier environment for everyone to enjoy.

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