"One person’s freedom ends where another person’s freedom begins." (Zechariah Chafee's publication). Freedom is one quality that identifies America, and most people think that freedom implies doing whatever they desire or they please. As this quote says, I think that our freedom has boundaries and we must know where our freedom ends. It has been proven that smoking in public places can be very harmful not only to the smokers, but also to the nonsmokers. Here is where we find the issue, when it comes to smoking in public areas, and one’s freedom. What I mean is that if I smoke in a public place I make the people around passive smokers. By doing this I force them to do something that they do not want. We all have the liberty to do what we like as long as our actions don’t affect others. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services “Secondhand smoke causes numerous health problems in infants and children, including severe asthma attacks, respiratory infections, ear infections, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Some of the health conditions caused by secondhand smoke in adults include heart disease and lung cancer”. (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Health Consequences of Involuntary Exposure to Tobacco Smoke: A Report of the Surgeon General). This should make us aware about the risks that smoking in public places has towards the nonsmokers. Smokers should understand the smoking hazards are not only for them, but for the nonsmokers as well. Being able to smoke should be banned in public areas because secondhand smoke hurts babies and children; it contributes to the development of heart disease, and lung cancer in nonsmokers. History of the Issue
In the beginning tobacco was used by American Indians in many different ways, such as in religious and medicinal practices. It was believed that tobacco had healing properties and it was used to treat lesions, and as pain killer. During colonialism that belief made tobacco popular causing its agriculture and usage grow and spread. In the seventeenth century, an era known as “The Great Age of the Pipe”, tobacco became so popular that it was used like cash. This was also a time when many started to oppose it, and smoking in public areas bans and prohibitions begun, but this had more to do with moral beliefs than health concerns. In the 1600s: the Pope banned smoking in holy places, in 1604: the King James I of England in his “Counterblaste to Tobacco” described his objection to tobacco: “Smoking is a custom loathsome to the eye, hateful to the nose, harmful to the brain, dangerous to the lungs, and in the black, stinking fume thereof nearest resembling the horrible Stygian smoke of the pit that is bottomless.” (Goldsmid 1884:32). In that same year he increased 4,000% tax on tobacco.
In the 18th century smoking bans and prohibitions became uncommon; the tobacco industry was such an important source of revenue that it financed the American revolutionary war. At end of the 19th century smoking an anti-tobacco campaign by American people, disliking the excessive consumption of alcohol and tobacco began to demand action from the federal and state legislators. Again this had more to do with moral beliefs than health concerns. In the beginning of the 20th century the anti-tobacco campaign continued growing. Some states were proposing a total ban on tobacco, and by 1922, 15 States had laws banning the sale, manufacture, possession and use of cigarettes, but this was unsuccessful and the bans were eventually lifted. In the 1930s smoking rates among female teenagers increased, and during World War II (1939 to 1945), cigarettes were included in soldiers’ C-Rations. This caused that the use of cigarettes increased among the population. During the 1950's, some evidence showed that smoking was linked to lung cancer, and even when the tobacco industry denied it, in 1964 health hazards were revealed. The Surgeon General's report on "Smoking and Health" came...
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