Smoking in Public Places: To Ban or Not to Ban
There are many habits that are considered harmful, but there are not many that harm the person who does it as well as those around him. Smoking is one of these habits. Every year, over 150,000 toddlers are exposed to second-hand smoke. Experiments show second-hand smoke can be as bad as smoking itself.
In spite of many governmental efforts, smoking laws are still not completely enforced. There are stores where they do not card people who ask for cigarettes. This often results in many children under eighteen who are smoking. There are also infants who are already exposed to second-hand smoke because their parents or someone close to them smokes.
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It is not a problem if people choose to smoke in their homes. But when people start to smoke in public places, it becomes an issue for more than the smoker. The person who smokes is making the choice he believes is best for him, but the people around him do not make the choice to sit close to him and inhale his smoke. This is especially bothersome in restaurants and theaters, because many times, the non-smoking sections still receive the smoke from smoking sector.
It is easier for adults to make a better choice than it is for children. If the smoke gets to be unbearable, an adult can ask for a new table, or simply leave. But a kid is stuck in a situation where one or both of his parents smoke. They cannot request for new parents, or to be removed from the room where their parents are smoking. Children often depend on adults to provide care for them, and this task cannot be accomplished if the adult is causing more harm than benefit to the kid.
Most smokers start this terrible habit while they are still young. The reasons are many: Peer pressure, smoking parents, or the thought it will make them popular, better looking, or mature. Some smoke to defy their parents, or because it “relaxes” them. Seventy percent of smokers will regret they smoke when they see it is killing them as well as 430,700 other Americans every year. More smokers die from tobacco related diseases each year than from alcohol, cocaine, crack, heroin, homicide, suicide, car accidents, fires and AIDS combined.
Smoking is closely related to laryngeal, oral, esophageal, and lung cancers. It causes asthma, worsens blood clots, and damages the mouth, teeth, and eyes. Smoke gives bad breath, yellows your teeth, and gives clothing an unpleasant odor. After all of these reasons, why smoke? There are better ways to relax, be popular, mature, and interesting. There are even better ways to make parents mad. Smoking in public places should be banned so that the world is, environmentally, a better place, and so that there are healthier people everywhere.