The Health Effects of Smoking Bans Essay

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1521 Words
Date:  2022-07-05

Introduction

In most countries, there are laws that prohibit smoking in public places. All smokers are allocated specific places where they can smoke without affecting the rests of the people. However, the law seems to favor only one of the sides, the non-smokers. Public places should be accessible to all people and the smokers have a right to be in them whenever they want. The challenge of implementing the law has reduced its effectiveness and most of the smokers feel discriminated. Scientists have proofed that smoke from tobacco is responsible for the high number of cancer, asthma, strokes and heart diseases. Smoking harms both the smoker and those near them through passive smoking. The law should be protective of all people and to ensure that people are exposed to the risks that they fully understand and only when they accept the risks. The law should also consider the common good and the rights of the individuals.

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Arguments for the Availability of a Law

The first reason in support of the law is that it will protect both smokers and non-smokers from getting harmed by tobacco smoke. Tobacco is one of the most abused drugs in the world and it contains many poisonous contents like carcinogens and nicotine and this makes it addictive. Smoking accelerates about seventeen types of cancer (Alexandrov et al., 2016). The law should focus on reducing such cases of cancers and the law will reduce the rate at which people smoke. Unlike taking alcohol or junk foods in public, smoking affects the participant and the public, which means it has a double impact. The smoke may cause light effects like difficulties in breathing, coughing, and nausea as well as worse problems like diseases and death.

The second reason is that it will help to reduce littering which is associated with the packets and pieces of cigarettes. Cigarette butts and papers can be seen in the public places in the areas where the law does not prohibit smoking in public. If the smokers could dispose of their litter properly, it would not have been a challenge. However, it is hard to change the unethical behavior of the society. The other reason is that smoking is associated with bad smells both in the environment and in the addicts. Poor oral hygiene is common in smokers and the odor can be unbearable to many who do not smoke (Venkatesh et al., 2018). If there is a law that prohibits smoking in public, the disturbances caused by the smoke will reduce significantly.

Smoking in the workplaces can be an irritation to many desperate employees who may have to tolerate the smoke to retain their jobs. For example, smoking in the office by the boss may be difficult for the subordinates to complain or take action due to the fear of losing their job. The law can help to protect the rights of such people who may not have the courage to stop it. The cost of running public health needs will drop and the government will invest less in medical related to the related challenges. According to research conducted in Germany, a ban on public smoking is helpful in reducing the number of people hospitalized with cancer and other related diseases (Kvasnicka, Siedler, & Ziebarth, 2018). The same can be replicated in many other parts of the world and similar results are expected. For example, in the UK, the ban on public smoking led to reduced active smoking among the citizens (Jones, Laporte, Rice, & Zucchelli, 2015). The law will have a major impact on the number of people who will get into active smoking.

The secondhand smoke affects children and can have major impacts on their future health. Children have weak immune systems and they are not able to protect themselves from the smoke. Children who are exposed to cigarette smoke get sick more often, they have many lung infections and are likely to cough and sneeze regularly. They may also get asthma and sudden infant death syndrome. Smoking in public exposes many innocent children to these risks and a ban on the same will increase their health. The law should be applied in the homes too where children can get exposed to smoke from their smoking parents.

If there is a law that bans smoking in public, the number of people who start smoking will reduce. Most of the people who start smoking do so to get a feeling of maturity and to boost their ego. However, the ban will discourage them and increase their caution because they know smoking is addictive. The ban will also increase the productivity of the young people in the society. As noted earlier, it causes many respiratory diseases which reduce the ability to work. The ban will lead to a healthier society and increase the lifespan of the citizens. For the smokers who are struggling to quit, it will be easier to quit because there will be less temptation in the public. They will have lower chances of smelling and seeing cigarettes. The ban will also reduce the expenses that smokers have. An average smoker has to buy cigarettes each day and this costs them a lot of money. It also reduces the chances of fires and the costs of maintaining cleanliness in bars and restaurants.

Arguments against the Ban

The law against smoking in public will be against the rights of the smokers who have rights to do what they want, just like any other citizen. Cigarettes are just like beer and it is discriminatory to ban cigarettes and not beer. Beer is taken in some public places and it is not fair to discriminate against the smokers in the same places. Offering them alternative products is a better way of reducing the number of smokers. Use of force and law may not be an effective solution to addicts who have a right to consume nicotine as they wish. The people against the ban are likely to argue in the court that the ban is baseless and does not have any legal or ethical stand. However, the briefs should be weighed against the benefits of allowing smoking in the public places. The smokers are consumers just like others and they should be protected by the law.

The ban does not necessarily reduce the risks in the air and it is aimed at affecting the smokers. The smoke from car combustion pipes, industries, and other pollution sites causes more harm than the one that is caused by cigarettes. The law should also ensure that there is a free access to quitting assistance facilities, and guidance (Jamal et al., 2015). Heart and lung diseases can be caused by many other factors apart from the smoke from cigarettes. The ban is not a guarantee that the diseases will reduce. Smoke from dumpsites and burning of chemicals can cause worse dangers. The law should consider that smoking as the least of the problems that the society is exposed to. The high taxes charged on tobacco importers and processors earn the government high amounts of revenue. The ban will reduce the consumption rate and reduce the revenue collected. The judge should consider the financial advantage of increased smoking to the government. Banning it in public will have negative financial impacts on the businesses and the government.

Conclusion

The law on the use of cigarettes is intended to reduce the number of smokers and the risks associated with the habit. Most of the smokers are addicted and this makes them tempted to smoke in public. Implementing the ban will reduce their ability to smoke and it will decrease the exposure of the non-smokers to the cigarette smoke. Research has indicated that smoking can be attributed to the increased cases of cancer and other respiratory diseases. Governments have introduced laws which require smokers to smoke only at designated places. High taxation on tobacco and related products has not been effective enough to reduce the number of people who smoke. As a judge in a case over the ban, the two sides will have many briefs to argue for and against the ban, as shown in the essay. The judge should consider the rights of the individuals and the common good of the public and balance the two.

References

Alexandrov, L. B., Ju, Y. S., Haase, K., Van Loo, P., Martincorena, I., Nik-Zainal, S., ... & Campbell, P. J. (2016). Mutational signatures associated with tobacco smoking in human cancer. Science, 354(6312), 618-622.

Jamal, A., Homa, D. M., O'Connor, E., Babb, S. D., Caraballo, R. S., Singh, T., ... & King, B. A. (2015). Current cigarette smoking among adults-United States, 2005-2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep, 64(44), 1233-1240.

Jones, A. M., Laporte, A., Rice, N., & Zucchelli, E. (2015). Do public smoking bans have an impact on active smoking? Evidence from the UK. Health economics, 24(2), 175-192.

Kvasnicka, M., Siedler, T., & Ziebarth, N. R. (2018). The health effects of smoking bans: Evidence from German hospitalization data. Health economics.

Venkatesh, A., Manikandan, K., Sujatha, G., Priya, R. S., Prasad, T. S., & Mitthra, S. (2018). Smoking habits, oral hygiene practices, and self-perceived malodor among arts and science college students of Manimangalam, Chennai. Journal of International Oral Health, 10(1), 21.

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The Health Effects of Smoking Bans Essay. (2022, Jul 05). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/the-health-effects-of-smoking-bans-essay

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