You walk into a restaurant, make your way to the cashier and then you smell it; smoke. It is as disconcerting as can be, but still you decide to sit down and eat anyways. Do you know what you are exposing yourself to? The chemicals you are ingesting as you breath in the smoke? You are exposed, against your will, to carcinogens or cancer-causing chemicals. Every day, children, passersby, and infants are indirectly harmed by mainstream smoke, which is not only affecting the smokers but also those nearby. Therefore, Smoking should be banned in public places for the health issues it can cause, the damages it can do to business owners, and the disturbance it puts on clients.
According to the WHO, (World Health Organization; 2018. License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO), Tobacco smoke contains many chemicals that are harmful to smokers and non-smokers. Of the more than 7,000 chemicals in tobacco smoke, at least 250 are known to be harmful.
So why isn’t the government issuing a smoking ban already? The answer is quite simple. There are many opposing views regarding this matter. One of them is the argument that smoking tobacco is legal, so governments have no right to try to make people stop. Elaborating further, longtime smokers argue that issuing a smoking ban will not encourage people to quit smoking as this will just force them to smoke more at home and harm people in their house, children in particular. The cultural mindset of people insists that heavy smokers are unlikely to quit since they are addicted to nicotine either way.
Another argument we have here is that a smoking ban will put many restaurants, pubs, and clubs out of business due to the impact of less customers. These businesses will gain less revenue by selling cigarettes as well. Pubs and Working Men’s Clubs are vital meeting places for groups in many locations. In areas with no other employment, they also provide jobs for people with little skills. Hence, it is vital that they survive.
While these viewpoints may sound practicable, these arguments are rather faulty and questionable. First and foremost, governments cover all or part of the cost of treating smoking-related illnesses in many countries. This suggests that there is a right for governments to ban smoking. Also, the notion that people will smoke more at home is false. Why? Because to stay content, smokers need to retain a certain amount of nicotine in their blood. If there is a public ban on smoking, it would reduce the nicotine level they need to stay content thus decreasing their need to smoke over time. (IDEA Inc. 2007)
Second, a smoking ban would encourage smokers to reduce their nicotine intake or quit altogether. This is because if smoking is prohibited in public areas, then it would no longer be a social activity. Because If smoking was less of a social activity, less individuals would start smoking. This was proven to be true when one third of smokers in Scotland said the smoking ban was helping them to cut down. (Severin Carell, 2007 BST)
And lastly, Protecting the wellbeing and overall health of people is more important than preserving companies and businesses. Pubs and clubs can also adjust to the situation by seeking to make money from the sale of food instead. A smoking ban was introduced in New South Wales/Australia, and since introduction of the legislation, 14% reported increased trade, and 9% reduced trade. (Chapman S. 2001, 174(10):512-5.)
In conclusion, there are more convincing arguments in favor of a ban. Smoking in public areas should be made illegal. As this will benefit thousands of people’s health, smoker or non-smoker, and I believe that is most certainly a positive change.
So its about time everyone put out their cigarette butts and support petitions to illegalize smoking -cause that dwindling mercurial high you get from smoking isn’t just worth it.
(World Health Organization; 2018. License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO)