Smoking Unwanted

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Have you ever been walking down the street and all of sudden get a whiff of the cigarette smoke coming from the nearby smoker? Many people have complained that cigarette smoke should be banned in public places due to extreme health risks. Health experts, politicians, business people and the general public have debated a smoking ban on cigarettes for many years. However the issue of smoking bans is complex and there are several things that must be considered. In addition to the health advantages there are also questions concerning the economic impact on smoking bans on state and local communities, and the rights of smokers and non- smokers. Smoking in public places should be banned because of the negative effects of passive smoke on smokers. Banning smoking in public places such as parks and beaches in the United States will lower the overall rate of heart disease and emphysema amongst the general population of this country. The American Heart Association (A.HA.) stated that, “Cigarette smoke should be banned from work and public places as an environmental toxin.” (Ban is urged on Cigarette Smoke in Public Places) According to the A.H.A, there is a great deal of evidence that proves that exposure to the smoke of other people’s cigarettes enhances the possibilities amongst non-smokers of acquiring maladies such as lung cancer, heart disease and emphysema. The A.H.A supports legislation to strengthen smoking standards and increase education on the risks of smoking. They have also requested education for the general public on the health risks of second hand smoke. Dr. Homayoun Kazemi, MD, chief emeritus of the Pulmonary and Critical Care Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital said. “ I don’t think we have to debate whether environmental tobacco causes disease. The evidence is there.”(Ban is urged on Cigarette Smoke in Public Places) Many smokers disregard the fact that when they smoke around other people it is not only affecting themselves but also others around them. Secondhand smoke is one of the main causes that people develop heart disease and cancers. Although some places are having a hard time deciding whether or not smoking should be banned in public places others are moving fast with these bans and are seeing positive results. One place where a smoking ban is having a positive effect on lowering the rate of heart disease amongst the non-smoking population is Scotland. A year after Scotland banned smoking in public places, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that hospital admissions for heart attacks and coronary problems fell seventeen percent. (Singer-Vine) According to Professor Jill Pell of the University of Glasgow found that the overall reduction of hospitalizations from non-smokers fell sixty-seven percent. Edith Balbach, Director of the Community Health Program at Tufts University and president of Americans for Nonsmokers Rights stated, “These findings should add considerable oomph to the pressure for smoking bans elsewhere because of the study’s rigor and use of blood tests.” (Singer-Vine) I believe that Balbach has a point, if the conducted studies are showing remarkable effects many other places should consider this for when they have to decide to ban the smoking or not. Currently, there is no Federal ban on smoking in public places in the United States with the exception of Federal Buildings. President Clinton enacted laws banning smoking in Federal Government buildings in 1997. Proponents of smoking bans have mostly aimed their efforts at State and local governments. According to the organization, Americans for Nonsmokers Rights, more than eighty-one percent of the population of the United States is subject to some form of a smoking ban, which restricts smoking in public areas and/or workplaces. There are now over twenty-eight states that have bans on smoking in public areas according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Singer-Vine) New York City is one of those...
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