Should People Smoke in Public Places

Topics: Smoking, Cigarette, Tobacco Pages: 7 (2385 words) Published: September 26, 2013
According to the Center for Disease Control, 19.3% of adults who are 18 years of age or older do currently smoke cigarettes (“Adult”). Smoking in public places can cause innocent people to be subject to secondhand smoke and cause them to suffer the same consequences as the actual smoker. Allowing people to smoke can also cause a business to lose valuable customers. It can be a gateway drug that can open the door to much more dangerous drugs. Smoking should not be allowed in restaurants and other public places.

By smoking in a public place, people are affecting more than just themselves, they are also affecting the innocent. If smoking is allowed in public places, then adult and children nonsmokers are subject to secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke is defined as smoke that is breathed in that comes from the end of a lit cigarette, cigar, or pipe or that is exhaled by a smoker (Vogin). Nearly the same amounts of chemicals are breathed in during this than during the actual smoking process (Vogin). It is also known as involuntary or passive smoking. Secondhand smoke is bad for the heart and it can cause cancer. Secondhand smoke is nearly as harmful to the heart as chronic active smoking (“Banning”). Children are more vulnerable to smoke because they are still growing and developing (Vogin). Children of smokers have more respiratory illnesses and symptoms than children of nonsmokers (Taylor 113). Cigarette smoke is a very dangerous substance that should not be imposed on nonsmokers.

Many health risks come along with smoking and secondhand smoke. The most well-known risks would be heart problems and cancers. Breathing in (even low doses of) smoke can increase the risk of having a heart attack (“Banning”). Direct smoking doubles the risk of a heart attack and secondhand smoke increases the risk by 30%. Also, secondhand smoke makes the blood “sticky” and more prone to clotting, reducing the amount of good (HDL) cholesterol in the body, and putting individuals at a greater risk for dangerous heart rhythms (“Banning”). “Tobacco smoke contains more than 4,000 different chemical compounds, more than 50 of which are known to cause cancer” said Gary D. Vogin, MD in the article “Effects of Secondhand Smoke” (Vogin). Some of the dangerous chemicals that are in smoke are hydrogen cyanide, a highly poisonous gas used in chemical weapons an pest control; benzene, a component of gasoline; formaldehyde, a chemical used to embalm corpses; carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas found in car exhaust (Vogin). No amount of smoke is safe for the body. It can take as little as ten minutes for the smoke to start causing damage. Smoke is not only damaging for adults, but it is especially unsafe for children. It is unsafe because their bodies are still growing and they breathe at a faster rate than adults. Some children who suffer secondhand smoke can suffer from many diseases (Vogin). Some of these diseases would include Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS), several different types of respiratory infections, more severe and frequent asthma attacks, ear infections, and chronic cough (Vogin). Smoking is also very dangerous for a developing baby. Smoking while pregnant can cause premature delivery, low birth weight, SIDS, mental retardation, learning problems, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Each puff of a cigarette delivers a small dose of nicotine to the lungs (Taylor 26). After only a couple of seconds, the nicotine will enter the bloodstream and reach the brain. Within seven seconds the nicotine has crossed the blood/brain barrier. Once in the brain, the nicotine molecules attach to specific receptors on the surface of nerve cells. The nicotine will alter the function of the nerve cells, which accounts for some of the psychological effects of smoking. Smoke obviously does a lot to everyone’s body but it especially hurts young children and fetuses.

If smoking is allowed in restaurants, then that...

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"Banning Smoking In Public Places And Workplaces Is Good For The Heart, Study Finds." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 Sept. 2009. Web. 29 Mar. 2012.
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Jacobs, Marjorie. "Why People Smoke." Health & Literacy Special Collection. Marjorie Jacobs Community Learning Center, 1997. Web. 27 Mar. 2012.
"Kansas Smoke-Free: Frequently Asked Questions." Kansas Smoke-Free. Kansas Department of Health and Environment. Web. 30 Mar. 2012.
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