In a gathering of two or more people, when a lighted cigarette is placed in an ashtray, the smoke will waft into the face of the non-smoker. Cigarette smoking is the number one cause of preventable disease and death worldwide. Smoking-related diseases claim over 393,000 American lives each year. Secondhand smoke is a serious health hazard for people of all ages, and is estimated to cause close to 50,000 deaths each year. There should not be smoking in public places because it affects everyone in the area, causes cancer to those who don’t smoke, and harms young children.
Exposing non-smokers to second-hand smoke goes against their rights. Everyone makes a decision on whether or not they will smoke, so why must smokers choose to smoke around non smokers? Exposure to second-hand smoke also exacerbates existing respiratory conditions such as asthma. Studies have shown that second-hand smoke increases the frequency of episodes and severity of symptoms in asthmatic children, and it is a risk factor for new cases of asthma in children who had not had previous symptoms. Second-hand smoke is the mixture of “side stream” smoke emitted by the burning end of a cigar, cigarette, or pip and “mainstream” smoke breathed out by a smoker. It contains more than 4,000 chemical compounds, like tar and nicotine that make up at least 60 identified carcinogenic substances. While smokers are entitled to smoke if he or she wishes, consideration must be given to the rights of nonsmokers who are exposed to that tobacco smoke. Second-hand smoke constitutes a grave threat to the fundamental right of all persons to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health, as well as to other related human rights and fundamental freedoms (Praetorius). Comprehensive smoke free air laws have been effective in reducing exposure to secondhand smoke, increasing the number of people who quit and discourage kids from starting to smoke (Egendorf 77). Anti-smoking activists give...
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