Friday, August 18, 2017

An Essay on Smoking in Public Places

Smoking should be banned in all public places and should only be allowed in people's own homes. Not only is smoking annoying for non-smokers, but it has many big problems with it. According to experts, for every seven smokers who die from smoking, at least one non-smoker dies from cigarette smoke. Smoking in public should be banned because of the environmental and economic factors, health risks to others, and the negative effects it has on children.

Cigarettes have a large effect on society in the area of environmental problems. Smoking obviously pollutes the air and it definitely causes a lot of litter. People who smoke usually throw their butts anywhere such as out of a car window, in someone's yard, or even in stream. If you were to drive around for fifteen minutes you would probably see at least five people throw a butt out of their window. Litter from cigarette butts is such a big problem because they take 18 months to 10 years to biodegrade. It is clear to see how this litter keeps adding up overtime. Not only are the cigarette butts ugly to look at, they also adversely affect our life.

There are also the economic problems that come with smoking in public. In this country, we spend enormous amounts of money on healthcare to treat things that are preventable. In addition to economic problems to society as a whole, smoking can cause economic burden on families. Cigarettes are expensive and in some families they are one of the top priorities. Many times people are more worried about buying cigarettes than they are about buying food and I cannot be the only one that thinks there is something wrong with that picture. The majority of smokers live below the poverty line so they obviously do not need the added expense of buying cigarettes, which are not cheap by any means.

Despite these positive effects there are lots of negative effects of smoking too. Initially, smoking has been proven to be too dangerous for health. As one cigarette contains more than 4000 chemical substances, it causes many dangerous diseases such as heart attacks, asthma, bronchitis, or lung cancer. According to a recent report, in Britain about 3,500 people are killed each year in road accidents and 120,000 are killed by smoking.

I am sure that most, if not all, smokers are aware of some of the health risks that come with smoking cigarettes, but I do not think that they know how serious the risks can be. Smoking has such an effect on the lungs that 85% of all cases of lung cancer would be preventable if smoking was given up. Although most people know that they are harming themselves by smoking, they may not be aware of the negative effects on the people around them. Many people who smoke say that restricting smoking in public would be taking away their freedom, but in reality smoking in public takes away non-smokers' right to breathe fresh air. Passive smoking, or second hand smoking, has very negative health effects on those exposed to it. Studies show that second hand smoking causes pre-mature deaths in non-smokers from lung cancer and heart disease.

The most serious problem with smoking in public is the negative effects it has on children. Children are the future so instead of polluting their bodies we should be doing everything we can to keep them healthy. Smoking can begin affecting children before they are even born. If the mother is exposed to second hand smoking there is an increased risk of birth defects. There is a growing amount of evidence that points to the fact that childhood exposure to environmental tobacco smoke has negative effects on lung functions. This is especially true for children who have asthma. Exposure to second hand smoking causes asthma attacks and increases the symptoms of the asthma. So smoking around them is dangerous to their health now and potentially even more in the future if they start smoking themselves.

Smoking should be banned once and for all in all public areas. Smoking negatively affects our society through environmental problems, economic problems, health risks to others, and especially health problems it causes within children. There is no logical reason to smoke cigarettes and doing so does not benefit anyone in any way. Smoking in public is the same as driving drunk because both endanger the lives of innocent people who choose not to engage in the reckless behavior. The only difference is that with smoking the effects are not visible immediately because it has long term effects. Banning smoking in public will ultimately increase the quality of life and in turn will better society as a whole.