Smoking Ban in Public Places
There is a chronic problem with people smoking in public places. Health Canada states, “Smoking in public places is the single largest source of indoor air pollution, containing a mixture of nearly 4000 chemicals” (Health Canada, 2011). Clearly, smoking in public has a serious impact upon the health of people and the physical and social environment around them; therefore, implementing smoking laws and developing public education are good approaches to eliminate smoking in public places. Smoking in public places means having a cigarette in social common spaces, such as offices, shopping centers, or public transportation. As Drew Hendricks talked about in the article “The Real Facts on Smoking and Public Places, there are one-billion people in the world that are smokers, and it is a serious issue, no matter race, age, or social status (Hendricks, 2012). Obviously, smoking in public places is a global issue in nowadays. People all over the world often gather in these crowded places. Accordingly, a smoker’s choice to have a cigarette will affect others as well as himself or herself. There are two major impacts caused by smoking in public places. First, harmful second-hand smoke is endangering people’s health. It is generally believed that smoking is a hazard only to smokers, but this is only partly true, “Second-hand smoke is a mixture of the smoke given off by the burning end of a cigarette . . . exhaled by smokers smoking in public places is greater for non-smokers than for smokers” (United States Environmental Protection Agency, n.d.). Furthermore, Jack Rella, an eHow contributor, writes that there are 250 chemicals in cigarettes that may be harmful to the human body when people are smoking, and an additional 25 will lead to cancer (Rella, n.d.).
Another article also says that “there are over 60 known cancer-causing chemicals in tobacco smoke, smoking harms nearly every organ in the body, causing many diseases and reducing health in general” (Smoking – effect on your body, 2012). Unfortunately, when smokers are able to smoke in public spaces, they also can make non-smokers sick. Jack Rutherford, a writer in The Richmond Register in Kentucky, notes that “second-hand smoke has serious negative health consequences, which can carry over into other people’s lives with a tangible, measurable, and sometimes permanent impact” (2009). Furthermore, in Canada, people who get diseases, such as cancer, is about 1000 per year due to second-hand smoke (Health Canada, 2011). More specifically,
second-hand smoke can cause serious problems among children. A study shows that “children who are around second-hand smoke have more severe and frequent asthma attacks, and severe asthma attack can put a child’s life in danger” (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2012). As long as people smoke in public places, the physical and social environment also will be influenced. In the first place, smokers always throw the cigarette butts in public places wherever and whenever they want, and this reflects negatively on the image of the community. “Cigarette butts account for millions of pieces of litter annually and detracts from a local’s aesthetic,” said Jack Rutherford. “If smokers would dispose of their waste properly when they’re in public places, this might not be issue, but the fact of the matter is that they don’t” (2009). In addition, from social environmental perspective, people smoking in public places are an act of selflessness. In all likelihood, without considering other people’s thinking and blowing a cloud of cigarette on a public occasion may ignore other people feelings.
Finally, from now, more and more young people that are under eighteen year-old tend to imitate smokers’ social example due to they are not capable to knowing what that habit means for their health, and many adults smoke freely in front of children. “The young would like to showing himself or herself matures, when they see older people all around them smoking, especially their parents and relatives, they start smoking because they want to look like them” (Anupam, 2008). Apparently, smoking in public places is a silent killer not only for smokers and non-smokers, but also the physical and social environment. It is imperative that the government and propaganda departments take some actions to minimize the harm of smoking in public places. A smoke-free bylaw is an effective way to deter people from smoking in public because smoking pollutes the environment and exposures people to second-hand smoke. According to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), a study found that “the levels of respirable suspended particles fell by 84 percent after a strong smoke free law went into effect in western New York” (as cited in “Only Comprehensive Smoke-Free Laws Are Effective,” 2010, p. 2). In addition, the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) concluded: “Six months after Helena, Montana, passed a no-smoking ordinance for common areas, hospital admissions for acute myocardial infarctions decreased by 40 percent” (Kim, n.d.).
This result shows that both the environment and people’s health were better after the smoke-free bylaw became stronger. At the same time, publicizing knowledge about the negative effects of smoking in public places by propaganda departments is a fundamental method to help raise awareness about the importance of public health. In 1999, in the Waterloo region, people were educated about the disadvantages of smoking in public places via billboards, posters, and bus and newspaper advertisements. And as a result, organizers of the advertising campaign said that there was a significant effect to citizens (Council for a Tobacco-Free Waterloo Region, n.d.). This is an example demonstrating that well-planned promotional activities can assist in helping people realize the importance of banning smoking in public places. In summary, having a cigarette in public places not only influences the health of non-smokers but also the physical and social environment, and it is primarily through public education and the development of smoking laws that people will become aware of the importance of not smoking in public places. In this way, the problems caused by cigarettes will be minimized in the following years. References
Anupam, K. S. (2008). Why young people smoke. Retrieved from http://health foru.wordpress.com/2008/09/20/why-young-people-smoke/ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2012, November 15.). Health effects of secondhand smoke: Secondhand smoke and children. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data_statistics/fact_sheets/secondhand _smoke/health_effects/ Council for a Tobacco-Free Waterloo Region. (n.d.). A promotional campaign to support implementation of the smoke-free bylaw in waterloo region. Retrieved from http://www.ptcc-cfc.on.ca /common /pages/UserFile.aspx?fileId=104702 Health Canada. (2011, March 11.) Smoke-free public places. Retrieved from http://www.hc-s.gc. ca/hc-ps /tobac-tabac/res/news-nouvelles/ sfps-lpsf-e-ng.php Hendricks, D. (2012). The real facts on smoking and public health. Retrieved from http://newswatch.nationalgeographic.com/2012/07/06/the-real-facts-on-smoking-and-public-health/ Kim, K. (n.d.). Smoke free laws. Retrieved from http://web.ebscohost.com Only comprehensive smoke-free laws are effective. (2010, December 29). Retrieved from http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/research/factsheets/pdf/0368.pdf Rella, J.