Smoking bans have been saving and improving lives since implanted and all smokers and non-smokers should be thankful for it. Those against smoking bans base their arguments primarily in the fact that they have the right to smoke. It is a valid argument since the United States guarantees its citizens freedom. But, is it really a valid argument? What is the real impact that smokers have over non-smokers? Is second-hand smoke a real thing? Yes, to smoke is an option. Sadly, that option happens to impact not only on the person who does it, but on those around as well.
You have the right to smoke and nobody should take it away from you, but your rights end where the others’ start. According to the American Lung Association, “Between 2005 and 2010, an average of 130,659 Americans…died of smoking-attributable lung cancer each year. Exposure to secondhand smoke causes approximately 7,330 lung cancer deaths among nonsmoker every year.” Non-smokers are being affected by second-hand smoke or so-called Indirect smoking, even though it was not even their choice. There is no excuse to tolerate so many deaths and many others associated diseases. Why should others pay for your choice? The following picture describes how tobacco smoking affects almost every organ in the body, with same consequences on direct smokers and second-hand smokers.
Flash news, Cigarettes cause cancer! It has the potential to develop cancer on the smoker. 600 different ingredients are found on a single cigarette, creating more than 7000 chemical when burned with 69 of them to be known to cause cancer according to the American Lung Association. These all 69 carcinogen substances are breathed too by those who happened to be around. While Smoking is a choice, breathing is not. There is a thin line between own rights and others. Second had smoke is proven to be affecting others. It kills people who do not smoke. According to many researches, second hand smoking is as dangerous as smoking a cigarette. There is a double morale when talking about the impact of cigarette on others. When removing asbestos, a mineral used in construction before it was banned for being directly associated to cancer, high security measures are taken to minimize its impact/exposure on the neighbors. Why is asbestos taken too serious and cigarettes smoke to lightly. Both of them cause cancer, both travel thru the air to the recipient body developing same health problems. If the Law requires to guarantee the minimal exposure of neighbor to asbestos while removing them, why should not cigarette be threatened the same way?
Since smoking is an option, diseases associated with it are avoidable or easy to minimize. CNN.com states that “Five things kill more people in the United States than anything else: heart disease, cancer, lung disease such as emphysema and chronic bronchitis, stroke and unintentional injuries such as those on roads or caused by medication overdoses.” Tobacco is the major factor of 4 out of these 5 diseases, costing the U.S. around 96 billion dollars. Added the health related cost of those who happen to live with a tobacco related disease, the number goes from 96 to 193 billion dollars. Those are 193 billon dollars not invested on transportation, public safety, education or rural development, making the impact of cigarettes even bigger. The usage of the phrase “It is my right” is costing the country 35 dollars [on health related cost] per pack of cigarettes smoked. Numbers do not lie, tax money is going to the wrong necessities.
Different kind of methods have been implanted over the years to minimize tobacco consumption and the effects that it has over people. Separating smokers from non-smokers, air purifiers, higher taxes on tobacco or educational classes are some measurement taken that did not have the instant impact that smoking-bans indoor had. The Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center from Minnesota, made a research in a 36 month period to analyze the real impact of smoking bans. The Olmsted County was chosen and analyzed a 18-month period before bans were implemented and 18-months after. Results were encouraging. The admissions for Myocardial infarction declined by 33% and the incidence of sudden cardiac death went down 17%, both per 100,000 population observed. Concluding that there is an inverse relationship between bans and disease-related to tobacco, and second-hand smoke has to be avoided by those who do not smoke and those with coronary heart disease. Let’s make smoking a habit socially incorrect .
Smoking bans work because make it difficult to smoke in the short run and help them quit in the long run. When the number of smokers drop, second-hand smokers drop as well making it a win-win situation. With fewer places to smoke, smokers tend to stop the habit. To stop cigarette commercialization is not a real goal or not now at least, but to minimize it consumption is a good place to start. If we want to increase The United States’ overall health, makes no sense to keep wasting money fighting the illness, but to attack what it seems to be causing it. To smoke is a right and that is understandable and should be respected, even though 80% in the country do not smoke. That is why to ban smoking indoor or prohibit smoking in public places make perfect sense.
Debate chosen: It’s good that restaurants ban smoking indoors