For several decades, smoking remains one of the most common and most unhealthy of human habits. Smoking, specifically in public, had generally been regarded as a personal choice that bystanders had little control over. Now for the first time, the act of public smoking is becoming regulated, even restricted in many cities worldwide. The city of Columbia has recently implemented a ban on smoking in efforts to reduce the negative effects of smoking on employees and customers of restaurants and bars. The issue is that smoke directly affects everyone in the vicinity of a public place, restaurant or bar. Based on the evidence that a ban on smoking prevents secondhand smoke, deters the unhealthy habit of smoking, does not affect business in similar cities, the city of Columbia should retain its ban on smoking in restaurants and bars. REASONING
The smoking ban ensures a healthier environment for employees and customers of restaurants and bars because it prevents secondhand smoke. According to the surgeon general, the contents of secondhand smoke contains dangerous carcinogens (cancer-causing agents), and holds that secondhand smoke exposure causes harmful diseases and premature death in children and adults (U.S.). Furthermore, adults exposed to secondhand smoke experience immediate effects on their cardiovascular system, causing an increased risk of heart disease from twenty-five to thirty percent and lung cancer increased from twenty to thirty percent ("Fact"). By requiring smokers to exit the building to smoke or use outdoor patios, establishments (under the smoking ban) remain smoke-free, creating a healthier atmosphere for employees and customers. Other methods venues have used to decrease secondhand smoke include separating smokers and nonsmokers, filtering the air and ventilating buildings. However, these are simply inadequate. Eliminating smoking indoors fully prevents exposure to secondhand smoke (U.S.).
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