Persuasive Essay – Public Smoking on the National Mall: Ban or Not?

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Outdoor public smoking on the National Mall should be banned because it is risky for nonsmokers and the cigarette butts cause a litter problem. When people smoke in public, not only do they risk their own health, they risk the health of the general public. One could argue that smokers should have a designated smoking area on the National Mall, but according to the World Health Organization, there are no safe levels of second-hand smoke whether it is indoors or outdoors. Toxins that our lungs are exposed to on a consistent basis, which is caused by secondhand smoke, can be dangerous to our health. Chemicals such as benzene and arsenic are inhaled from second-hand smoking and can cause cancer. The National Mall is one of the largest tourist attractions in Washington, DC and it attracts millions of people, including families. If a child is not subjected to the toxins from cigarettes at home and in their daily lives, they should not be subjected when they are out of their homes. Even if children were not exposed, non-smokers in general should not be put at risk. Smoke in the air--even outdoors--can cause asthma attacks and bronchial infections, among other reactions.

Smoking in public does not only affect our health but it also affects our environment and can be costly to clean up. Taxpayers should not be responsible for cleaning up the remnants left over from smoking. Cigarette remnants do not stay confined in one area, it tend to spread. It is an eyesore and is unattractive to see on the grounds of the National Mall. Another important issue is, many tend to throw their lighted cigarettes on the ground and it continues to burn. This is a fire hazard and can easily start a fire which poses another threat to public safety. Being that the National Mall is a huge tourist attraction, it should maintain its beauty. From a smoker’s standpoint, it would be unfair to completely ban smoking on the National Mall. We too pay taxes and contribute towards the cleanup. Also,...
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