“In 2016, more than 15 of every 100 U.S. adults aged 18 years or older (15.5%) currently* smoked cigarettes. This means an estimated 37.8 million adults in the United States currently smoke cigarettes” (“Smoking & Tobacco Use” 2018). Although they have the knowledge about the harms of smoking, people still make the decision to smoke. It’s a personal choice that smokers choose to open themselves up to. It isn’t for a third party or the government to tell them if they can smoke. But smoking doesn’t only hurt the smoker but all near. With public smoking banned, the negative effects on the rest of society are lessened.
Public smoking can portray a bad example. Growing children are easily susceptible to the things around them. They can’t separate right or wrong and often imitate those around them to learn. They see the actions around them as the way they should be. Like the essay, Attitudes Towards Smokefree High Streets: A Survey of Local Shoppers in a Northern UK Town says,
“children are less likely to take up smoking if those around them don’t smoke. Research has shown that even preschool children who observe their parents smoking have already learnt that smoking is appropriate or normative in social situations”.
Also, young adults who see smoking in public take it as an okay to start smoking also. The saying that “monkey see monkey do,” is very true when taking about teenagers. When they catch adults smoking in the streets it strengthens their belief in the “coolness” of smoking. Some see smoking as a transition into maturity. Consequently, more young adults start smoking by the influence.
When smoking is banned in public areas, it promotes better living for everyone. It would be supported by the government for healthy living. Banning smoking in public areas shows that the government cares for the health of the citizens and discourages smoking. Thus, when smoking isn’t allowed around public areas, it reminds people to live a healthy lifestyle.
Furthermore, prohibiting public smoking helps the life of the smoker just as much of the public. When smoking isn’t allowed in public, smokers would only be allowed to smoke in their homes. So, while there are out of their homes: working, eating out, at the movies or even playing at the park, they are not allowed to smoke. They must wait till they are at home to light up. Considering this, their cigarette consumption goes down and they smoke less. Which will benefit smokers that have been trying to quit. Also, if they have urges to smoke in public, they put more effort into crushing their cravings because it is punishable by law. Smokers will value from this ban because it will help them reduce the regularity of their smoking and would also help them break their addiction to cigarettes. In the long run it would help them quit.
Cigarettes are also loaded with many dangerous substances that will line lungs with tar and nicotine. Which doesn’t only affect the smokers, this affect the members of society that surround them. There are two types of smokers, active and passive. Passive smoking is often called second hand smoking, this occurs when tobacco smoke infiltrates any environment. According to Secondhand Tobacco Smoke: An Occupational Hazard for Smoking and Non-Smoking Bar and Nightclub Employees, “Secondhand tobacco smoke exposure is a major cause of respiratory, cardiovascular and cancer morbidity and mortality around the world”.
Tobacco smoke has over 7,000 chemicals which includes 250 chemical that are damaging to a person’s health. For example, there is a 20-30% chance to develop lung cancer when living with a smoker and second-hand smoking increases the risk of coronary heart disease by 25-40% which is almost the same as a smoker. Plus, the combination of the smoke exhaled and the smoke coming from the end of a cigarette can cause an episode of adult asthma and cause irritation to the eyes, throat and nasal area. The risk is not only seen in adults, secondhand smoking in children, could cause respiratory infections, a wheeze, cough, middle ear infections, asthma, and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome. Public smoking causes a substantial amount of harm to people, so the government should do more in protecting citizens, because there isn’t any safe level of exposure to second -hand smoke.
From an economic standpoint, because smoking is a leading factor to multiple disease, it leads to absenteeism from work.
“The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index surveyed 94,000 workers across 14 major occupations in the U.S. Of the 77% of workers who fit the survey’s definition of having a chronic health condition (asthma, cancer, depression, diabetes, heart attack, high blood pressure, high cholesterol or obesity), the total annual costs related to lost productivity totaled $84 billion…unscheduled absenteeism costs roughly $3,600 per year for each hourly worker and $2,650 each year for salaried employees.” (Investopedia).
The cost is from paying absent workers, overtime for other workers or temporary employees, managing administrative cost of absenteeism. Also, some indirect cost and effects occur: bad quality, a reduce in productivity, employees filling in for others that are inadequately trained to do so, which can lead to safety mishaps. So, if employers need to keep up work productivity and certify that their employees aren’t getting sick on work time, they should put a ban on smoking in and around work premises.
Humans are not the only things getting hurt by smoking in public, the environment is harmed too. When smokers get careless, they will throw their cigarettes to the ground. Despite the way cigarette butts are disposed of, each of them poses a threat to the environment. They have a negative impact because multiple include harmful chemicals. It is known that “Toxic substances are leached from the filter and tobacco residue that pollute waterways, and probably pollute ground water near landfills that are not properly constructed to contain such leachates. Aquatic life may be harmed by the toxic leachates, and the butts may cause physical harm when ingested by animals” (Barnes, 2011). These animals that have ingested the harsh substances could be cooked and eaten by humans or the tainted water supply would be drunken by them. If the smoking ban is enforced these buds would no longer be a problem, which would result is a cleaner environment.
With evidence indicating that bans on public smoking would thrive in an environment standpoint, smokers and non-smokers would also benefit from the ban. Prohibiting this dangerous habit subjects’ smokers to resist their urges for the good of other. Moreover, when a smoker doesn’t see people around him smoking or smell a cigarette, would reduce his need to smoke. But for a ban to be useful it has to be set effectively, this way the cons arguments against the ban are adequately squashed.