For most of my life, I've been a second-hand smoker. My parents both smoke and though they try to keep from partaking in their bad habit around my younger sister and I, sometimes it's unavoidable. Through the years I've watched as their smoking has caused them yellow teeth, weight gain, irritability, and extreme coughing. There have been numerous efforts on my part to persuade them to give up their addiction, including taking all their cigarettes and refusing to give them back, as well as adding up the total amount of money they would save if they didn't waste it on their nicotine craving. Because I have had to deal with watching their lives slowly slip away, I strongly think smoking should be banned in public places---why should people who choose to stay clear from a bad habit be forced to be around it? Take secondhand smoke for example. Secondhand smoke, also known as environmental tobacco smoke (ETS), is the toxic smoke containing 60 carcinogens, or cancer causing substances (McMillan). It is involuntarily inhaled by nonsmokers and can cause a wide range of health problems including cancer, respiratory infections, and asthma. As someone who suffers from asthma, the excess amount of smoke inhaled in restaurants and other public attractions causes my chest to tighten up and breathing to become difficult. Smokers would argue that it is their right to smoke where ever they please or that in a restaurant with separate sections, everyone wins. However, that is not true. Only smoke free locations truly protect nonsmokers from the smoke hazards (Report: Ban Smoking in Public Places). According to The American Lung Association, levels of ETS in restaurants and bars were found to be 2 to 5 times higher than in residences with smokers and 2 to 6 times higher than in office workplaces. Restaurants are public locations and those who have current health problems should be able to enjoy an evening out without “hacking up a storm” because of the person smoking a few tables...
Citations: American Lung Association 2007 19 FEB 2008 .
McMillan , Daniel . Teen Smoking: Understanding The Risk. Berkeley Heights, NJ: Enslow Publishers, 1998.
"Report: Ban Smoking in Public Places." Associated Press 27 Jun 2006 13 Mar 2008 .
Tobacco and Smoking: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press , 1998.
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