Essay, Research Paper
Smoking or Non-Smoking Should There Be A Choice?
Imagine sitting in a restaurant unable to enjoy a meal due to the cloud of smoke coming from a neighbor s table. The fact that there was not a designated area for smokers has put the smoker and the non-smoker in an uncomfortable situation. Smoking should be banned in public places because non-smokers have a right to clean air, and because second hand smoke is more dangerous than actually smoking a cigarette. However, smoking should not be banned in public places because it is the smoker s choice to smoke just as it is the non-smokers choice not to smoke.
President Clinton is quoted saying that We ve got to do more to protect people in public places and clean up the air that all of us share (Rovner 571). For non-smokers, inhaling someone else s cigarette smoke can be very aggravating. It is bad enough that automobiles, processing plants, and other types of industries pollute our environment, but for a smoker to choose to smoke around a non-smoker is a violation of their right to clean air. Stanton A. Glantz, who wrote Smoke Free Ordinances, states, By March 1997, more than 150 communities in the United States had eliminated smoking in public places and work places. California law now requires that all restaurants be smoke-free and that all bars become smoke-free on January 1, 1998 . So, an effort has already become in some places to purify the air for those who do not smoke. If the nation would ban together as a whole, society could eliminate public smoking completely. By stopping public smoking, society rids the environment of a hazardous pollutant, and it prevents the danger and unhealthy affects of second hand smoke on non-smokers.
Second hand smoke increases the risk of heart disease and heart attacks by increasing a person s risk of developing blood clots. Second hand smoke, the smoke inhaled from other people s cigarettes, pipes, and cigars, causes 53, 000 deaths a year, and is the third largest preventable cause of death in the united states, behind regular smoking and alcohol abuse (Bernard 842). Jinsup Kim, M.D., reports that, exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) raises a non-smoker s risk of developing lung cancer by at least 50 percent (Health Article Magazine 65). The only effective way to avoid the negative effects of second hand smoke is to insist on a smoke-free environment whenever possible. Non-smokers can encourage smokers to walk outside to smoke and open windows to keep the room ventilated to minimize the consumption of second hand smoke.
As citizens of a freedom-based nation, the constitution encourages the right to freedom of press, freedom of religion, and, most importantly, freedom of speech. If Americans are free to make the choice to do anything, what makes the choice to smoke in public places different from any other decision? If a smoker makes the choice to smoke, then that person is aware of the consequences that goes along with that decision. American females have the choice to end a baby s life by receiving an abortion, therefore, smokers should not be inhibited from making a choice to smoke where they choose to do so.
In response to it being a smoker s choice to smoke, and the non-smoker s choice not to smoke shows that everyone is affected by smoking being banned in public places. Non-smokers choose not to smoke and are left alone, while people who choose to smoke are told when and where they can smoke. If America is a nation of freedom, then why is where and when someone smokes such a controversial issue? Smoking should not be banned in public places because it is the smoker s choice to smoke.
During the course of the meal a cloud of smoke is now no longer a bother. Because there are now designated areas for smokers and non-smokers someone could enjoy a meal without being uncomfortable. At the same time, a smoker is made uncomfortable because the restaurant is a non-smoking facility. Only the non-smoker can be completely satisfied. Is that fair in a free nation? If public places would compromise and designate certain areas for smoking and non-smoking then maybe everyone could be in a public area and be comfortable or satisfied.