Ban Smoking in Public Areas

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Have you ever come home with the stench of smoke clinging to your clothes? Or inhaled a cloud of smoke as a group of smokers passed, causing you to cough and choke? Neither experience is pleasant, and this is why smoking should be banned in public areas.

Smoking can be dangerous not only for the smoker, but also for those around the smoker. Secondhand smoke is the third leading cause of preventable death (after active smoking and alcohol), according to the Manitoba Medical Association. They also say that the smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, 50 of which are known to be cancer-related. Secondhand smoke has been linked to heart and respiratory disease; lung, breast, cervical, and nasal sinus cancers; strokes and miscarriages. In children, dangers include sudden infant death syndrome, fetal growth impairment, bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma and middle-ear disease. People who smoke subject themselves to deadly diseases, as well as long- and short-term health problems. Non-smokers should not have to live with the consequences of smokers' actions.

Not permitting smoking in public areas may help people refrain from smoking. Some argue that there would be a significant decline in the clientele in bars and clubs, but non-smokers actually outnumber smokers three to one. A ban could actually increase people going out because nonsmokers would be more comfortable.

There may also be a sudden realization of the dangers of smoking. With the state government taking a stand, it may cause people to take another look at the deadly factors of "cancer sticks."

After a recent incident from the widely known Target Market program, people are beginning to feel that anti-tobacco efforts are losing their focus. At a local event a couple years ago, a punk band hired by the anti-drug campaign played songs that included positive images of cigarettes and other drugs in their lyrics. This is not the most efficient way to use money set aside for anti-drug programs. Instead, this...
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