Ban on smoking is necessary to protect public health. It is not too long ago when people could freely smoke cigarette in aircrafts, restaurants, hotels, hospital and many others public spaces. Eventually, evidence supports the assertion that cigarette smoking is harmful to people’s health (Facts on file n.p). Different states in America and countries across the world have initiated measures to stop public smoking. Certainly, occupying smoke-free environment is good for human health. Supporters of the ban assert that cigarette smoke, whether inhaled directly or indirectly are a killer, and efforts need to be put in place to reduce smoking in public spaces (Facts on file n.p). On the other hand, the opponents affirm that ban on smoking directly infringe on liberty rights of smokers because the government cannot decide their life choices (Facts on file n.p). Furthermore, smoking is legal in America and so people have the right to smoke as they wish. According to them, smokers are simply targeted because of their life choices, and ban on smoking is a bold step towards dictatorship. Nonetheless, the position of this paper is that smoking should be forbidden to protect public health.
According to CDC, cigarette smoking is among the leading preventable causes of death in in the United States (Facts on file n.p). Based on statistics, cigarette smoking has caused more than 480,000 deaths annually in America (Facts on file n.p). Particularly, smoking causes more death than HIV, illegal drug use, alcohol consumption, motor accidents and firearm related incidents combined. Moreover, smoking has killed more people compared to those who died in all wars America has participated. Significantly, about 90 percent die of lung cancer and a considerable percentage succumb to obstructive pulmonary diseases due to cigarette smoke (Facts on file n.p). Risk of death as a result of smoking has surged in the past 50 years and hence the need to put an end to the vice to protect the public.
Smoking in public complicates life for both the smokers and non-smokers because it affects body complexion. First, smoking causes premature body aging and create wrinkles on the skin due to toxic chemical and compounds found in tobacco. When cigarette smoke enters human body, the compounds block oxygen supply to the skin making it dull and lifeless. Second, smoking affects the digestive system since studies have linked irritation of the stomach and intestines to smoking (Facts on file n.p). Similarly, most cases of intestine and colon cancer have been blamed on smoking. Third, smoking affects the normal blood circulation in the body because toxic chemicals damage blood cells when they enter the blood stream. Significantly, damaged blood cells can cause clogging and narrowing of arteries that prevent sufficient supply of blood nutrients to other vital body organs.
Fourth, smoking affects oral health since it has been linked to myriad cases of dental problems of teeth discolors and bad breathe. Fifth, smoking is linked to cases of musculoskeletal health as evidence has revealed that smokers tend to develop bone and joint injuries than non-smokers (Facts on file n.p). Remarkably, other health effects of smoking include cases of premature births in women, reduced fertility in men and women, affects cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
Ban on smoking has long been overdue, many people predicted that smoking ban would put an end to restaurant, bar and hospitality businesses. Nevertheless, this has not been the case. Ever since some states started implementing the ban, there has been considerable improvement on human health signifying a positive effect. Ban on smoking has protected third parties who indirectly inhale cigarette smoke in public spaces thus reducing such exposure. Meanwhile, evidence has established that ban on smoking can significantly benefit the economy by cutting down on health costs (Facts on file n.p). Healthy people are more productive as they stir the economy forward.
On the country, opponents of this debate believe that smoking ban infringe on their liberty rights. The state is simply defining their life choices which should not be the case. However, addiction is a major problem associated with smoking; ban on smoking can potentially harm smokers who greatly depend on it. Moreover, the ban directly infringes on the rights of manufactures who complain that the government through its anti-smoking campaigns has unfairly hindered their rights to liberally market and allot their product. Based on their assertions, ban on smoking also directly affects the economy because restaurants that initially had smoking bays today are no smoking zones. Therefore, restaurants, hotels and bars do not receive smoking revelers.
In my view, ban on smoking should be imposed and reinforced to protect public health. The health effects of smoking are grave to both smokers and non-smokers. Despite human right activists affirming that people have liberty rights that should not be infringed, medical evidence does not support smoking in public. However, governments should organize for rehabilitation services especially for those addicted to smoking. Majority of people agree that the best way to protect future generations is to deal with smoking amicably and prevent them from using cigarettes at an early stage.
Facts on file. Smoking Bans and the Tobacco Industry: Are smoking bans necessary to protect
public health?” Issues & Controversies, Infobase Learning, 1 July 2013. Available at: http://icof.infobaselearning.com/recordurl.aspx?ID=6300. Accessed 2 Mar. 2018.