Smoking Ban in Public Places Overview

Introduction

Banning of smoking in public places is a very burning issue nowadays. Perhaps, it would be better to say that it is one of the most important matters in question in the contemporary society because it arises a lot of discussions between those who are for and against this ban. In fact, it has continued receiving mixed reactions among smokers and passive smokers in equal measures. Either group is crying foul over encroachment of its rights by the other group. The smokers are quick to pinpoint at the governments imposing this law as biased with respect to other forms of expellants which are alleged to be equally noxious. On the other hand, second hand smokers cry foul of their health with lung cancer being their buzzword whenever their immediate environment are polluted with tobacco smoke. On comparing tobacco to other sources of toxic gases, studies have shown that the former encompasses of multiple carcinogenic compounds that range in hundreds. Perhaps, this is the rationale behind the formation of strict measures against smokers who voluntarily expose smoke to their non-smoking counterparts. However, studies have described nicotine, a major chemical compound in cigarette smoke, as a beneficial compound in preventing attack by diseases e.g. Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Moreover, according to controversies regarding the actual cause of lung cancer, researches have shown that propagandists (anti-tobacco and media) give an almost 100% correlation between cigar smoking and lung cancer yet the actual correlation is unbelievably minute. Hence, the outstanding question is that: is second hand smoke harmful to our health? If yes, then, what are the objections against imposing a smoking ban?

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In a nutshell, this paper will focus on the probable healthy hazards of a non smoker that enhances the enforcement of a smoking ban, the perceived reasons why smoking is not a healthy hazard and hence, the reasons why smoking should not be banned.

The probable healthy hazards of a non smoker who enhances the enforcement of smoking ban.

Among the many causes of diseases and deaths, cigarette smoking forms part yet it is the most preventable of them all. The risks of exposure of one to tobacco smoke have been studied to cut across both genders in equal measures with children succumbing to most illnesses. Children born from smoking parents are the most vulnerable of all in terms of being directly affected by second hand smoke. Smoke from cigar is composed of more than 4000 substances with the most potent of them all being nicotine (Jansons 512). These substances are known to adversely affect the children’s health in very many different ways. These effects are generally biased towards the respiratory system which is among the major contributors of infant mortality. Some examples of these effects are: respiratory illnesses, coronary heart disease, atopy and asthma. These effects have enhanced the non smokers to develop a negative attitude towards second hand smoke and thus, advocate for smoking ban in public places.

Another passive smoker’s outcry has been the dreaded effect of malignant growth of cells in their bodies. These are cancerous cells that attack different organs of the body courtesy of second hand smoke. Second hand smoke has been known to cause lung cancer, breast cancer, brain tumor and renal cell carcinoma (Enstrom and Kabat 79). Researchers have impeccably shown consistently that there is relatively high risk of cancer infection amongst those exposed to second hand smoke. The degree of risk in infection by brain tumor to children increases proportionately with the increase in exposure time to second hand smoke. Apart from cancer, studies have shown that involuntary smoking enhances ear infection which ultimately deafens the victim. Additionally, dementia and cognitive impairment have strongly been correlated to involuntary smoking among adults above fifty years. Moreover, increased degree in heart diseases e.g. atherosclerosis has a bearing on second hand smoke (Raupach et al. 388). All these potential risks are enough for a passive smoker to bear and as such advocate for smoking ban in public places if not holistic ban.

Perceived reasons why smoking is not a healthy hazard

Perceived reasons why smoking is not a healthy hazard mean that there is no need for smoking ban.

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In spite of all the uproar about the potential risks of involuntary smoking, researches are controversially showing that second hand smoke does not pose greater healthy risks as it is thought to be. Smoking, which is alleged to be the sole contributor of lung cancer, is just but one among the many risk factors that cause lung cancer. However, the propaganda propagated by anti-tobacco and the media, depict second hand smoke as 100% correlated to lung cancer (Raupach et al. 389). Studies have shown that the actual correlation is less than 10%. Basically, the probability of a smoker succumbing to lung cancer is 8% vis a vis a non-smoker which stands at 1%. Even so, the statistics is biased against the smokers allegedly in order to taint the image of second hand smoke. Moreover, considering all the major causes of deaths, lung cancer is reported to account for a paltry 2%. However, these statistics do normally go unreported by the World Health Organization or, they are suppressed to report otherwise. The real cause of lung cancer is a lot more complex since it occurs by the virtue of a combination of many elements e.g. HIV status, genetics and smoking among others. Thus, it is unfair to pin point at a single element (smoking) as the only cause of lung cancer (Proctor 40).

Furthermore, researches done on nicotine portray it as beneficial to human health. It has been portrayed as an inhibitor of diseases e.g. Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Researchers have shown that smokers are less likely to be attacked by these diseases as compared to non-smokers. This has prompted the medical fraternity to experimentally treat the victims of these diseases with nicotine which recorded positive results. Thus, it has been argued that the imposing of this law would expose victims to these diseases (Proctor 41). Additionally, studies have shown that tobacco has stirred-up many economies the world over. Consequently, governments are in dilemma of whether to impose the ban and risk economic gains or, do the contrary and risk the lives of passive smokers.

Conclusion

In conclusion, on weighing both sides of the divide, it is evident that smoking is a factor that contributes to the terminal lung cancer. The ultimate thing in human beings is life which comes above other material gains. Active regimes with active institutions cannot let its citizens suffer for the sake of economic gains. These regimes are pro smoking ban and hence they are not hesitant in enforcing the ban. Therefore, I argue that it is for the sake of the public good that this ban is enforced to minimize mortality rates.

Works Cited

Enstrom, James and Geoffrey Kabat. “Environmental Tobacco Smoke andTobacco-Related Mortality in a ProspectiveStudy of Californians.” British Journal of Medicine 326. 5 (2003): 78-80. Print.

Jansons, Criss. “The effect of passive smoking on respiratory health in children and adults.” Int J Tuberc Lung Dis 8. 5 (2004): 510–13. Print.

Proctor , Robert. The Anti-Tobacco Campaign of the Nazis: A Little Known Aspect of Public Health inGermany.” British Medical Journal 313. 7 (1996): 1933-45. Print.

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Raupach, Tobias et al. “Secondhand smoke as an acute threat for the cardiovascular system: a change in paradigm.” European Heart Journal 27. 4 (2006): 386–392. Print.

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