In the 1990s, the government started regulating the areas in which smokers may light up. There have been many debates over the years concerning where Americans may smoke. Smokers account for about twenty percent of America while the non-smokers account for eighty percent. The government has instrumented laws preventing smoking indoors. Smoking in all public places should be banned because it negatively affects non-smokers and smoking should not be allowed to upon on others’ breathing space.
Many smokers may not be aware of what chemicals are found in cigarettes. “Cigarettes contain up to 7,000 chemical compounds and more than 250 of these are known to be harmful, and 69 are known to cause cancer.” The same chemicals may also be found in household items like paint thinner and pesticides. If more information like this were available to the public, smokers would think twice before they lit up. On average, a person would not inhale a pesticide or paint thinner. That is what people should consider before they light up (Johnson 36).
There is another way chemicals and particles can travel through the air. This is called third-hand smoke. This is when the smoke off the cigarette gets shuffled around by the wind. The particles get trapped on objects like leaves and grass. “One study has shown fumes from smoke were found as far as 44 feet away. Other studies claim that, on the right windy day, fumes can rival what you may encounter in an indoor environment.” These studies have not been around for very long and have little research shown. Since the research shows evidence of the particles in the air and on objects, it is safe to assume that the chemicals from smoking may be harmful to others (Stobbe np).
The surgeon general’s office has been warning people from the 1960s of the effects of second-hand smoke. They state, “There is no safe level of exposure to Second hand smoke, and any exposure is harmful.” Their research also suggests that second hand smoke causes cancer and heart problems. Heart disease is the most common which results in 46,000 deaths every year. It also showed that lung cancer kills around 3,400 a year. The research shows that thousands are dying every year from exposer to second-hand smoke. Based on this research, there is evidence to suggest innocent people are being harmed every year from second-hand smoke (American Cancer Institute 4).
“Tobacco smoke is one of the most common asthma triggers.” Smoke irritates the linings of the airway which can produce an attack. The severity of these can range from mild to serious. In a severe case, the lungs cannot receive enough air due to the swelling of these linings. The Center for Disease and Control and Prevention has concluded that even the slightest particles from smoke may cause an asthma attack. Since asthma attacks can be fatal, it is best to only allow it in a personal area where they are not in contact with others (CDC 5).
Even though cigarette smoke has been proven harmful, many argue that smoking should be allowed in parks. The parks are shared by non-smokers and smokers alike. That should not give one group more power over the other. Everyone pays taxes which provide the park maintenance and salaries of the employees who keep the parks open. Jacob Sullum provides a rousing rebuttal on the defense of the smokers. He states that the government bureaucrats must respect the rights of adults who make the decision to smoke. Parks should have designated smoking areas for those who choose to smoke. Almost all states have banned it from indoor environments. They should have the right to light up in designated areas in an outdoor setting like a park (Sullum