Smoking has existed for a very long period of time. Tobacco can be traced back to 6000BC when it started growing in the Americas. Smoking of Tobacco then started in about 1000BC. Even during those early times smoking in public places was considered outrageous. Rodrigo de Jerez fell victim to the anti-smoking campaigns and he was the first in the world to encounter the fate; he smoked in public and was thrown behind bars for three years. This shows what a serious turn smoking in public had taken in those early years. Since the introduction of tobacco, it has claimed lives which presently stand at one of every five deaths in America. If this is true as the facts reveal then, the issue of smoking not only in public places but also in enclosed private places stands out to be a dangerous initiative that ruins the lives of the victims. It is for this reason that smoking in public has been a one-sided debate for a long time. Every day laws are made to ban smoking in public places.
It would sound ultimately outrageous to try and promote a product that takes away the lives of people. Tobacco is known to be associated with respiratory diseases which lead the victim to his/her deathbed. Banning smoking in public places is thus a leap of a step towards controlling these undeserved deaths.
As much as slapping bans on tobacco smoking seems easy, it has proved to be quite a challenging task; it has generated controversy over and over. For non-smokers, the issue of employing a smoking ban is as easy as ABC and they do not see any reason why others would go around smoking in public. On the other hand, smokers feel that their personal right is being infringed by employing such a ban.
The issue of smoking bans has been with us for a long time. Pope Urban VII began the smoking ban in about 1590. He made it clear that anyone caught smoking within the church vicinity was excommunicated. In his treatise “A counterblast to Tobacco”, King James I described tobacco as an “invention of Satan”. He even banned it from London’s alehouses in about 1604. From then on, tobacco has faced a series of bans that continue to escalate each day.
Tobacco banning was on the rise but people did not quite have a reason to fully support the ban. It was not until the twentieth century that complications of the heart associated with smoking came into the picture. It was at this point that tobacco vendors provided their customers with a location segregated from the rest of the customers so as to avoid the annoyance and dangers associated with smoke.
In the early 90s, California issued a smoking ban which was implemented in restaurants. However, from that time on, other states have propelled the move and banned cigarette smoking in public places. Recent approximations show that over thirty-four states have cities passing some kind of ban on smoking laws.
Just like anything else, there exist advantages and disadvantages to the smoking ban. The most valid proof associated with the ban is the overwhelming evidence of scientific medical researches revealing the rationale behind doing away with smoking in public. The ban is supported by the revelation by medical researchers that a smoker puts those who are around him at risk. This disables the argument put forward by smokers that they choose to smoke because it is their bodies that suffer.
Examples of those at such kind of risk are workers at bars where smoking is allowed; eventually, the employees suffer from the same physical symptoms caused by smoking due to the effect of secondhand smoke. Other countries are taking the same step and are putting smoking bans in place.
The disadvantages of the smoking ban are also present and are as well felt as the advantages. Some argue that the ban on smoking in public will affect some types of businesses for example bar owners’ businesses will be greatly affected because most people who go to the bar would wish to smoke whenever they want to. On the contrary, some businesses report an increase in sales after the smoking ban; non-smokers tend to be more comfortable in non-smoking zones. As a result, the restaurants attract more customers and increase their sales. In addition, telling someone not to smoke in public can be seen as a violation of that particular person’s rights.
In an event where there are no smokers, it would not be practical to ban smoking but since this is an issue that has gained a place in the topics of discussion, it would sound ultimately negligent if the issue is not publicly addressed. There are ways that have been put up to help those addicts so that they can restrain themselves from the addictive drug. Anti-smoke drugs such as Wellbutrin are used to help control addiction and eventually quit. Wellbutrin is used as an antidepressant to cure depression. It is prescribed to people suffering from depression and doctors highly recommend that it be taken under closely monitored situations.
Those who have decided to quit should be helped to maintain the decision they have made. Quitting is not as easy as it seems and that is why the victims need support in their journey out of the smoke.
The issue of slapping a ban on public smoking as discussed before is a one-sided battle and with time most if not all institutions of governance will take the brave step to implement the ban. The cities and states that have already implemented the ban should be seen as examples so that the rest can follow suit.
It is not for mere uniformity that states should adopt this strategy but it should be looked into more from a medical perspective. The cost of treating these tobacco-related illnesses is overwhelming. The cost of buying cigarettes has subsequently gone up; considering the fact that some addicts spend virtually more than the budget for buying cigarettes because of the craving for the drug. This has in turn made such addicts impoverished with their craving for the drugs.
If people really cared for those they interact with then it would beat logic to force nicotine into them in the name of inactive smokers. If the smokers expose the smoke to people around them then they are definitely putting these non-smokers to risk. By taking good care of loved ones, their lives get prolonged. Definitely, no one would like to see a loved one perish because of a mistake that ought to be avoided ten or fifteen years ago. This means that smokers who enjoy the puff in their houses where there are kids and relatives, whom they love and take care of, are definitely putting these loved ones at risk.
In conclusion, it would be quite obscure to try and go against the discussions of this research paper if one has the exhibits the humane nature of considering the people who surround him/her and his/her immediate environment. To ban smoking is thus not only a recipe for a better living but a requirement for a healthy nation.
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- Smoke-Free Ontario Act.2006.
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- Jeremy Laurence.2008.