Smoking Ban in Public Places Essay

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All people have a fundamental right to breathe clean air—with no exceptions. In the past few decades America has made great strides in protecting the individual’s right to a smoke-free environment but there is still work to do. No one should have to choose between their health and a good job; law that prohibit smoking in public places help create a healthy environment for all people.

The common good must be protected over the perceived individual’s right to smoke because clean air but clean air is a basic human right secured by the United States Constitution’s promise to establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, and promote the general welfare. Local, state, and even the federal government need to impose smoking bans in public places. It’s an American right to breathe clean air. Anti-smoking laws help establish justice by creating healthy workplaces and public environments for all.

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When the government or independent institutions work to establish justice, it is securing equality to all. Clean breathable air allows every individual the same opportunity to live healthy lives without giving favor to a specific group who may choose to smoke. Nearly 440,000 American die each year from smoking-related illness and about 38,000 of those are directly related to secondhand-smoke. According to a recent study at the Center for Disease Control, smokers and nonsmokers alike benefit from workplace and public area smoking bans. Dr.

Lynn R. Goldman of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, who chaired the panel that produced report said, “It is clear the smoking bans work. [They] reduce the risk of heart attacks in nonsmokers as well as smokers” (LA Times). It is the government responsibility to ensure nobody is subject to toxic air in the public or at the workplace. Clean air provides all persons with an equal opportunity to succeed. When the government creates, enacts and enforces smoke-free laws, it is working to establish justice in our country.

Local, state, and federal Governments are not the only institution working to establish justice. Recently, a surge in smoking bans on college campuses have hit the nation in response to the public’s demand for cleaner air. Ty Patterson, the former vice president of Student Affairs at Ozarks Technical Community College in Springfield, Missouri, says he started the first smoke-free campus in 2003 in order to ensure domestic tranquility among the students. “The [college] president came to me and said, ‘Ty, we’ve got problems. You can’t get in and out of doorways without going through a orridor of smoke,’ ” Patterson recalled. Universities and other private enterprises have become pro-active in the fight for clean air for all. Now is the time the government also works to create an equal opportunity for all to breathe clean healthy air in smoke-free environments. Creating smoke-free public environments ensures justice for all. When enforcing anti-smoking laws, local, state and/or federal work to ensure domestic tranquility by banning harmful behaviors in public places. These smoking bans in public places prevent individual citizens from fighting his/her peers in order to preserve a healthy environment.

Local governments across the nation are listening to the people’s concerns and creating healthy breathable environments for all. Thirty-five states have laws in effect that mandate 100% smoke-free nonhosipatlity workplaces, restaurants or bars, according to a American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation report compiled in April 2011. “These smoke-free laws start at a local level,” said Cynthia Hallett, executive director of Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights. ” They are based on community demand, science looking at exposure to secondhand smoke and the environmental impact. The recent law passed in New York City is designed to help curb exposure to secondhand smoke as well as reduce liter. Most importantly, this law is ensures domestic tranquility among all New York residents, smokers and non-smokers alike, guaranteeing a healthier environment for all people. This new law (which remains nameless in the article) should be a model for city councils across the nation. It sets the bar high in cities ensuring domestic tranquility. After a state-wide smoking ban went into effect in Iowa, a smokers’ rights group Freedom Fighters for All Citizens is filling a lawsuit against the state.

Larry Duncan, a spokesman for the group said the law violates civil rights because he hasn’t been able to get a citation and violates interstate commerce because tobacco is legal but the law says where people can and cannot use it. Just as with our guaranteed right to free speech, the government imposes some limitations on our rights, such as tobacco use, when public safety is involved—in order to ensure domestic tranquility among all people. Countless medical studies, scientific reports and an official claim from the American Cancer Society and the Center for Disease Control connects second-hand smoke to severe health risks.

The government imposes small limitations such as no smoking in public places in order to ensure domestic tranquility among the people. People can still purchase tobacco and use it in a private location but in the public arena, it is damaging to everyone’s health. The government’s limitation of tobacco use in public settings and it’s push for cleaner healthier air through smoking bans is one way to ensure domestic tranquility in society. Every person deserves to be protected from second-hand smoke in all public places and establishing anti-smoking laws promote the general welfare by allowing all people to breathe clean air.

Governments who promote the general welfare give respect to social and civic participation and allow commerce to flourish safely. However, Washington State’s recent smoking ban finds the balance between government control and individual freedom. On December 5, 2005, the most progressive law at the time went into effect throughout Washington State public places and work areas. It requires all people who desire to light up to stay at least 25 feet away from doors, windows, and vents leading to public places. Officially titled the Smoking in Public Places Act, the law is a major step forward in promoting the general welfare.

Because of the uncontested evidence in support of smoking bans promoting the general welfare, the Center for Disease Control has proposed every state imitates a smoking ban. Dr. Thomas Frieden, the Director of the Center for Disease Control claims, “If states make the right decisions, if policymakers and families make the right decisions, we can save lives” (bibliography). Dr. Frieden is right, if the government proposes a law that prevents smoking in public places, we will save lives. It is estimated that smoking takes the lives of 443,000 Americans every year and costing more than $96 million in direct medical expenses.

We will save lives and we will promote and preserve the general welfare by instituting laws that protect clean breathable air for all. Every person has a basic right to access clean healthy air. The United States Constitution protects that right to protect the common good through its promise to establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, and promote the general welfare. Now policymakers need to act and propose laws that provide all people with clean air in public places. If policymakers act now, we will save lives and we will carry the promise deeply embedded into the American spirit and the United States Constitution.

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