Reasons why Smoking in Public Places should be Banned

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Smoking is unhealthy. Kids are taught this in grade school. Television commercials show the damage it can do to a body. The message that smoking is bad is very clear. However, some people choose to smoke anyway. If a person chooses to damage their own health, that is a personal issue. Smoking in public makes this an issue that affects everyone. Smoking in public has negative effects on people in the community and it should be banned.

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In January of 2016, it was said that it would take $3.4 billion a year to improve world wide health if people stopped smoking now (Smoking: What Are the Effects?). In 1950, Richard Doll discovered that smoking causes 15 different types of cancer. After this is was made known, the tobacco companies tried covering up their knowledge. They tried arguing that they did not know the nicotine in cigarettes was addictive. (Godrej) Being addicted to nicotine is an issue because smoking for a long time is worse than smoking a lot in a short time. The more one smokes, the higher the rate of cancer. Cancer research of the Uk says “Research has shown that for every 15 cigarettes smoked, there is a DNA change which could cause a cell in the body to become cancerous” (“How Does Smoking Cause Cancer?”). Treating cancer is expensive, and not everyone has insurance to cover the costs. The additional costs can come back on the community to make up for it. This is just one way smoking can have a negative effect on the people in the community.

The idea of banning smoking in public is not new. Multiple laws have come out trying to prevent as much smoking. The Food and Drug Administration created a law in 2010, that they thought, would help decrease the usage of tobacco. In March of 2010, the FDA made it known that no one under the age of 18 could buy any smoking product (Staff). In 2011, a law came out saying that smoking would be banned in schools, hospitals, the public hospitals, and some public places. The negative effects of smoking are not just limited to the places mentioned in the 2011 law, so smoking in all public places should be banned.

The health of other people is just as important as one’s own health (Staff). Smoking in public places causes a risk to other people. A person lighting a cigarette around others can harm those around them by burning and sending chemicals like carcinogens into the air. Walking by someone who is smoking forces a person to breathe in smoke unless they cover their nose or stop breathing. Even a little smoke can cause immediate damage. (“Smoking & Tobacco Use”) When smoking in a public place it can harm the workers and the people in the same area. Having a smoke free environment will create a safe environment.

Second hand smoke is dangerous. The heart can become weak because the lungs are not inhaling the proper clean oxygen. The cigarette smoke is contaminated and it travels through the cardiovascular system and runs through the heart and blood vessels. This damages them and does not give the proper healthy blood to the heart. (Center for Tobacco Products) This increases blood pressure and heart rate, narrowing the arteries to the heart which can cause blood clots which lead to death. This chemical of nicotine can stay in the body for 7 to 8 hours a day, depending how often one is exposed to smoke (“How Smoking and Nicotine Damage Your Body”).

The addictive chemical of nicotine can affect the brain. This can cause a constant craving. Nicotine can be used as a depressant because it is something one gets addicted to. Not having it can lead to depression or other bad mental states of mind. (“How Smoking and Nicotine Damage Your Body”) Carbon monoxide goes into the brain and it messes with the body’s systems by making the brain and heart work even harder than usual (“Smoking: What Are the Effects?”).

Does one really always have to go out and have a smoke? The answer is yes. Some people can not go an hour or two without having the craving for nicotine. This can hurt people’s social lives because they do not want to be interrupted by someone because they have to go smoke. This also worsens the lives of children who might be around them. They should not be near any second hand smoke, even worse is a parent who smokes (Frank). Therefore, a parent who smokes is just makes a life worse for their children. A parent who smokes around their children increases the chance that the children will become smokers one day. Not only is the child being impacted from the parent, but they will smell. The smell of smoke does not go away if it is in the home. It will go on the clothes, in the hair, and on the body and the person will stink (“Smoking & Tobacco Use”). When the smell does get into the house it may cause the children’s friends not want to come over. This is because it will smell for them and give them head aches if it they are personally not used to it. (Frank)

Smoking can leave nicotine residue on surfaces that last long after the smoker leaves. For example, a person smoking in a restaurant may leave nicotine residue on the table or seats. The nicotine may not be removed by simply wiping down the area. The nicotine can build up and last for months on the surface. By touching the surfaces, people can transfer the dangerous substances onto their skin. This can be especially bad for babies and toddlers, who touch the surfaces and then put their fingers into their mouths. Even if the child isn’t present while a person is smoking in a public place, the child can still end up ingesting the cancer-causing compounds up to months later (“How Does Smoking Cause Cancer?”).

Eventually, nicotine can be released back into the air as gases or ultra-fine particles after reacting with chemicals normally present in the air, like nitrous acid and ozone”this quote is from fda.gov. These gases and particles may attach to common house dust, which is then inhaled by people or animals. According to the Federal Drug Administration, a study was conducted that showed even when homes were thoroughly cleaned, nicotine was still present on surfaces and in household dust for months after smokers stopped smoking in their homes (Center for Veterinary Medicine).

Smoking outdoors might reduce the smell of smoke inside a building but it can still make its way inside. Usually smokers will light their cigarette as soon as they step outside. This is a not kind act. It is hurting those who are walking nearby, or who have to smell it from a far distance. Smoking outside hurts the pollution as well. This causes the air to be harmed, so all people will not breathe in clean air (Center for Veterinary Medicine).

Litter reduction is something people do not think about when they smoke. The ash trays provide a place to put the finished cigarette and out the flame out. Places now are starting to take away ashtrays because they do not want people smoking anymore. This causes people to put the butts of the cigarette on the ground. This affects other people because they have to smell the end of the cigarette. People will now throw them on the ground and step on them. No ashtrays forces people to toss the butts on the ground and leave them there. This is hurting the environment by littering just like littering trash. This not only makes the environment not look good, but it can be harmful to animals who may eat the butts (Rutherford).

Smoking can hurt the lives of the person who smokes, but also their family, strangers, as well as pets. People that have started smoking have stated that they wish they have never started. Ninety percent of people regret even trying it because it affected their life in a negative way. They try to stop it, but the addictive nicotine will not let it happen (Frank). Less than five percent can actually quit. This hurts their social and mental health as well as physical health. Smoking doesn’t only hurt an individual, it can hurt the people in the community around them. This is why smoking in public places should be banned.

Work Cited

  1. Center for Tobacco Products. “Health Information – How Smoking Affects Heart Health.” U S Food and Drug Administration Home Page, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, 1 Feb. 2019, https://www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts/PublicHealthEducation/HealthInformation/ucm432339.htm
  2. Center for Veterinary Medicine. “Animal Health Literacy – Be Smoke-Free and Help Your Pets Live Longer, Healthier Lives.” U S Food and Drug Administration Home Page, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, 19 Oct. 2017, www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/ResourcesforYou/AnimalHealthLiteracy/ucm520415.htm.
  3. Frank, Robert H. ‘Why Rules on Smoking should Get Even Tougher.’ New York Times, 07 Jan. 2018, pp. BU.4. SIRS Issues Researcher,https://sks.sirs.com.
  4. Godrej, Dinyar. ‘Smoke Gets in Your Eyes.’ New Internationalist, Jul. 2004, pp. 9+. SIRS Issues Researcher, https://sks.sirs.com.
  5. “How Does Smoking Cause Cancer?” Stages | Mesothelioma | Cancer Research UK, 21 Jan. 2019, www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/causes-of-cancer/smoking-and-cancer/how-does-smoking-cause-cancer.
  6. “How Smoking and Nicotine Damage Your Body.” About Heart Attacks, 2019, www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-lifestyle/quit-smoking-tobacco/how-smoking-and-nicotine-damage-your-body.
  7. Rutherford, Jack. “5 Reasons to Ban Smoking in Public Places.” Richmond Register, 23 Oct. 2009, www.richmondregister.com/news/lifestyles/reasons-to-ban-smoking-in-public-places/article_f0830ffb-2986-5232-99aa-c77c61a2fb01.html
  8. “Smoking & Tobacco Use.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1 Dec. 2016, https://www.fda.gov/TobaccoProducts/PublicHealthEducation/HealthInformation/ucm432339.htm
  9. “Smoking: What Are the Effects?” MyDr.com.au – Trusted Australian Health and MedicinesInformation, MyDr, 2019, www.mydr.com.au/addictions/smoking-what-are-the-effects.
  10. Staff, ProQuest. Smoking Timeline. Leading Issues Timelines, 2018. SIRS Issues Researcher,https://sks.sirs.com
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Reasons why Smoking in Public Places Should be Banned. (2021, Apr 04). Retrieved June 24, 2022 , from
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