7 July 2012
Ban Public Smoking Smoking bans and campaigns against cigarette smoking are becoming a common theme around the United States. Just in the past 20 years, the government has realized that public smoking is poisonous to the public’s health because passive smoke is just as unhealthy for non-smokers as smoking is for smokers. Smoking should be banned in public because people are exposed to harmful smoke in many places. Many states have started banning smoking in places such as parks, beaches, public plazas and certain sporting events. The reason for banning public smoking is because passive smoke is very harmful to a person’s health and kills 53,000 non-smokers a year (Smoking Statistics 2009). Statistics show that passive smoke increases risks of asthma, increases the risk of heart disease, lung cancer, increases the rates of ischemic heart disease, respiratory disease, and sudden infant death syndrome, and linked to affect the mental growth of children.
What is Passive Smoking or Secondhand Smoke? Passive smoking is the inhalation of smoke, called secondhand smoke (SHS), or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), by a person other than the intended active smoker. SHS is a mixture of two forms of smoke that come from burning tobacco. “Sidestream smoke is the smoke that comes from the end of a lit cigarette, pipe, or cigar and mainstream smoke is the smoke that is exhaled by a smoker. Although we think of these as the same thing, they are quite different. Sidestream smoke has a much higher content of cancer causing agents known as carcinogens and contains smaller particles, which make their way into the body’s cells more easily. Mainstream smoke is a combination of inhaled and exhaled smoke after taking a puff of a lit cigarette. The composition of mainstream smoke is affected by how the smoker inhales and exhales, so it will vary from person to person” (American Cancer Society 2011). When non-smokers are exposed to SHS it is called involuntary smoking or passive smoking. Non-smokers who breathe in SHS take in nicotine and other toxic chemicals just as smokers do. There more SHS you are exposed to, the higher level of harmful chemicals enter your body. Smokers seem to ignore all important health information given to them on the risks of smoking and the cause and effects it has on non-smokers. “In January 1981, the first scientific studies suggesting an association between passive smoking and lung cancer in nonsmoking adults appeared in the medical literature” (qtd. in Hirayama 183) “Over the next 13 years, additional studies appeared, providing confirming evidence that passive smoking caused cancer. The authors state “spearheaded by the efforts of US Surgeon General C. Everett Koop and grassroots ‘nonsmokers’ rights’ groups, multiple policy changes were enacted across the United States, including over 400 local ordinances restricting smoking in enclosed public places, and Congressional bans on smoking on airline flights” (Malone, Boyd and Bero 714). No matter what anyone tells you, smoke does not stay in the smoking section of a restaurant. “Secondhand smoke is the perfect health threat and violates the boundaries and barriers meant to contain it and therefore require new policies to eliminate it” (Reid 33). This undetectable threat seizes a persistent uncertainty and social paranoia of this dominant health risk. One of the biggest health concerns caused by smoking and secondhand smoke is heart disease. People now realize that exposure to secondhand smoke is dangerous and this exposure can increase their chance of heart problems although they do not smoke. “The American Heart