Smoking in Public Places: Health & Economic Effects

Introduction

“Smoking is the practice where the substance is burned and the vapors either tasted or inhaled” (Jacob 6). These “vapors and active substances present are absorbed through the alveoli in the lungs and this triggers chemical reactions in nerve endings producing effects on the heart rate, memory, alertness, and reaction time” (Jacob 12). Substances such as cannabis, cocaine, tobacco are smoked ritualistically, for pleasure or as a social tool. In most countries only tobacco is a legal substance with its use banned from public places. However in the modern world everyone has his/her rights, even those with habits viewed by the society as vices. Smokers have a different perspective to the health, social and economic effects of smoking in public places. This paper evaluates the issue of smoking in public places, its pros and cons to both the smokers and non-smokers.

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Health effects

“Smoking increases the risk of common diseases affecting the heart and lungs such as heart attacks, strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, and cancer (particularly lung cancer, cancers of the larynx and mouth, and pancreatic cancer” (Stanley 28).These account just for a few health complications associated with smoking. On the other hand smokers argue that smoking liberates tension and relaxes the mind. Some argue that smoking substances like tobacco have the benefit of higher human information processing, healthy body weight, less chance of plague gingival inflammation, hypertension, Parkinson’s disease among others.

What about the nonsmoker? He/she becomes a secondhand smoker exposed to the same health risks as the smokers. Pregnant women, young children, people with asthma and other none smokers unknowingly become victims of the risks in public places.

Social effects

Smoking especially tobacco has in the past been used as part of image by famous scientists like Albert Einstein’s, news broadcaster Edward R. Murrow’s, author Kurt Vonnegut, politicians like British Prime Minister Harold Wilson and Winston Churchill among others (Stanley 31).However health organizations and government institutions have increased efforts to reduce the number of smokers by conducting anti-smoking campaigns, higher taxations on smoked substances and banning smoking in public places. They expose negative social effects associated with smoking like bad breath, smelly clothes, and tainted teeth with the aim of reducing the status quo which smokers are held especially by young adolescents who join smoking ignorantly to achieve a status quo.

Economic effects

Smoked substances are a source of revenue to the government. Smoking ban in public places like bars and restaurant could hurt them economically. “I found a statistically significant result that the proposed smoking bans lowered the market value of hospitality industry firms” (Tomlin 18). This reduces revenue to the government from smoked substances. However to the smoker it helps reduce the chances of smoking which in the long run results to less spending. The government also stands to gain from revenues collected from fines collected from offenders of the ban

Conclusion

Smokers have their rights to smoke but everyone has the right to clean air. Smoking in public places should then be banned due to the health risks it poses to both the smokers and non-smokers. It neither raises ones status nor is it a show of sophistication. It instead leaves the smoker with smelly clothes, bad breath, stained teeth and irritated eyes. The economic effect of the ban could be counteracted by investing in other economic activities that are friendlier to the human beings.

Works cited

Jacob, Jack. Tobacco:A study of its consumption in the United States. Calorina: Pitman Publishing Company, 2000. Print.

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Stanley, Robert. Fast Facts:Smoking Sensation. Chicago: Health Press Ltd, 2007.Print.

Tomlin, Jonathan. “Economic Research on Smoking Bans.” Economic Research and Analysis (2009): 18-27. Print.

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