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Living in a Smoke Free Environment

By kturschmann Dec 13, 2010 925 Words
“More than 400,000 deaths in the United States each year are from smoking-related illnesses.” This is a quote from the National Institutes of Health regarding smoking. Smoking is a practice that a person does where a substance is burned and the smoke is either tasted or inhaled. Most of the time people use it as a recreational drug because it releases nicotine and is absorbed through the lungs. It has been said that smoking related diseases kills one half of all long term smokers but these diseases may also appear in non-smokers.

For those of us who are non-smokers, it is disturbing to find out that even though you do not smoke, you can still get diseases that are caused from smoking; this is thanks to second hand smoke. As a non-smoker, when one breathes in second hand smoke they take in nicotine and other toxic chemicals just like a smoker does. The more secondhand smoke that a person is exposed to the level of harmful chemicals in their body is also very high. Second hand smoke is a very big problem recently. Stores, restaurants, and other public places are beginning to ban smoking inside and ask that if someone wants to smoke they must step outside so many feet from the building. There are four major places where smoking is a very big problem: at work, in public place, at home, and in the car.

When adults are at work, that is where a lot of their second hand smoke exposure comes from. Second hand smoke in the workplace has been linked to an increased risk for heart disease and lung cancer among non-smokers. By placing restrictions on smoking at work, that protects non-smokers from second hand smoke and also helps encourage those who do smoke to quit. I believe that there should be a ban put in the workplace when it comes to smoking. I know that when I go to work I do not want to show up to the smell of smoke, and leave to go home smelling like smoke. If I was to walk into work where people were smoking I would feel as if I could not breathe or work because of the smell.

The next place where there is a lot of concern for second hand smoke is in public places. This is because there are many people who go out and people who take their children with them. Some businesses are afraid that if they become smoke-free they will lose business. There has not been any proof that this is true. I do not believe that if a business becomes smoke-free that they will lose customers, unless their whole store was a smoking zone to begin with. If a store allows smoking throughout their store and suddenly decides to not allow smoking, then yes there is a possibility of losing customers. Other than that, I do not see where a business would lose its customers.

One place where it is very import to keep smoke free would be your home. Any family member, no matter what their age, could develop health problems related to second hand smoke. The family member that would be affected by second hand smoke would be the children. Asthma, lung infections, and ear infections are some of the most common problems in children who are around smoker. Your home is where you spend most of your time. If you keep your home smoke-free then you are not only protecting yourself, but you are also protecting your family, guests, and even your pets. When I am able to own my own house, I know that I want it to be a smoke free place. I know how much I dislike the smell of smoke, I would not like for my guest to be disgusted just by coming to my house. My house is a place where I like to relax and not have worries about anything, but if I began to smoke, the house would smell bad causing everything in my home to smell bad.

The final place where it should be a smoke free zone is your car. Many people spend a lot of time in their cars going from place to place. Since a car is closed in for the most part smoke can build up very quickly causing the car to be a hazardous place, especially for children. When I first got my car I decided that I would treat it like it was my baby. I would not want anything to happen to it, and I would not to harm it in any way. Smoking definitely harms your car; the smell sinks into your seat which in turn is there for long periods of time even if you try to get the smell out. I would not want someone whom I might have just met to get into my car and just be able to smell smoke. I don’t believe if would be a very enjoyable ride the whole time. Many places now have begun to realize that smoking and second hand smoke is not good for anyone. Keeping people healthy should be a main priority for everyone. I believe that no matter where you are or who you work for, if you are witnessing second hand smoke and do not like it, there is something you can do about it. I would speak up to protect people and especially children from tobacco-caused diseases and addictions.

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