Externalities of Smoking

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 282
  • Published : December 7, 2010
Open Document
Text Preview
In the paper I’m going to discuss the externalities of second-hand smoke. Externalities refer to all costs or benefits of a market activity borne by a third party. It’s also the difference between the social and private costs (benefits) of a market activity. When economic agents are not directly involved, negative externalities can exist, such as pollution. Second-hand smoke is a health hazard at any level (Essentials Of economics, Bradley R.Schiller). It’s to be said that smoking bans are the only way to protect nonsmokers. Although many states and hundreds of cities have passed smoke-free laws, more than 126 million Americans ages 3 and older continue to be exposed to secondhand smoke. Nearly 50,000 nonsmokers die from the secondhand smoke each year. Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work increase their risk of heart disease and cancer. Brief exposure to smoke, damages cells, beginning a process that can lead to cancer, and increase the risk of blood clots (USA today: June 28, 2006). Secondhand smoke kills 46,000 adult nonsmokers from heart disease, 3,000 nonsmokers from lung cancer, and 430 newborns from sudden infant death syndrome. In children it causes 790,000 ear infections, 200,000 episodes of asthma, at least 24,000 low birth weight or preterm deliveries. When non-smokers are exposed to secondhand smoke it’s called involuntary smoking or passive smoking. Regardless if you’re smoking or not, if you’re around someone who is smoking you’re taking in nicotine and other toxic chemicals just like smokers do. The workplace is a major source of secondhand smoke exposure for adults (USA today: June 28, 2006). Secondhand smoke meets the standard to be classified as a potential cancer-causing agent by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (cancer.org). Separating smokers from non-smokers, cleaning the air, and ventilating the building cannot prevent exposure if people still smoke inside the building. Most people can be exposed in...
tracking img