Medical studies suggest that smoking can lead to serious health problems for both the person smoking and the person sitting next to him. Keeping these statistics in mind, governments all over the world have implemented bans on smoking tobacco in public places, to the joy of non-smokers and the dismay of those for whom a cigarette is a permanent extension of the lips.
Tobacco smoke contains carbon monoxide, a gas which – if inhaled – can severely reduce the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. It does so by combining with the blood pigment haemoglobin and preventing it from carrying the oxygen it was supposed to.
This action of carbon monoxide displays one great advantage of the ban on smoking in public places. People standing next to the smoker will, against their wishes, be inhaling the tobacco smoke emanating from the tip of the cigar or cigarette as well as that exhaled by the smoker. Thus, large quantities of carbon monoxide will be entering the “victim’s” blood stream, wreaking havoc with his red blood cells.
Tobacco smoke has also been shown to contain certain carcinogenic compounds which have the ability to mutate the DNA of anyone who inhales them, leading to probable cancers of the lungs, mouth and throats, and also secondary cancers at other sites in the body. These effects present another case in favour of the ban on smoking in public. Un-enlightened people standing next to the smoker will be increasing their risk of getting cancer tenfold.
Tobacco smoke also contains nicotine, a chemical which produces the same effects as adrenaline in the body. Nicotine increases the breathing rate, heart beat and blood pressure of the person who consumes it. Increased blood pressure may lead to hardening of the arteries, a condition called arthero sclerosis. Thus another advantage of the ban comes to light. Non-smokers who unwittingly inhale “second-hand” smoke are exposed to nicotine and its harmful effects.
Apart from the evident medical and...
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