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Smokers Should Be Allowed Smoke Everywhere
In most nations, both the developing and the developed ones have varying laws concerning the aspect of smoking, whether in public or in private places. Moreover, non organizational organizations such as the world health organization (WHO) and the American Cancer Association stipulates that cigarettes smoking has numerous adverse effects to the health of an individual and, therefore, campaigns and laws that would discourage smoking should be embraced. In the United States, the ban on smoking varies depending on states, where some stipulates that smoking in public, in residential houses and in the working places is illegal, while others do not have laws on smoking in public. Though smoking negative health effects to the smokers, both passive and active smokers, the aspect of providing restrictions to smokers on whether to smoke in public, in their houses or in the places of work violates some of the rights of the smokers. In 2011, the American Nonsmokers` Rights Foundation released a statement that revealed that approximately 80 percent of the population lives under some sort of smoking ban (American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, 2011). This foundation also worked around the clock and successfully managed to push for the ban of smoking in all public places including public streets, workplaces, restaurants and bars. Their argument was that banning smoking would enhance the aspect of cleansing the air of impurities that smokers choose to inhale, but should not inflict to others. This paper entails an argument that smokers should be allowed to smoke anywhere.
Despite the fact that smoking causes a myriad of health concerns does not mean that smokers should be restricted to smoke in any place they wish to do it. Every individual has the right to do what he or she wishes to do as long as it affects him. Formulating a law that aims at stopping or discouraging individuals to quit a habit that they has not only been legal, but also used to is completely ridiculous. If the states do not want individuals to smoke, then, they should ban smoking completely but not partly or legalizing it with conditions (Gough, 2013). Precisely, discouraging the aspect of smoking by enacting laws that provides conditions for smoking is equivalent to saying (for example) no one has the mandate of chewing his or her finger nails, or taking foods such as rice. There is no way a nation or a regulatory body can provide conditions for eating something like rice or any other food. Banning smoking in public is equivalent to depicting that no one should eat more than one plate of rice, and this is a violation of an individual`s rights.
Moreover, the decision of the American Nonsmokers` Rights Foundation together with numerous other organizations which push for the banning of smoking is mistaken. Precisely, these bodies argue that non smokers are at a risk of breathing in polluted air. They fear that non smokers tend to inhale second hand smoke, which, according to them, is more dangerous than active smoking. Most of these bodies claim that individuals inhaling second hand cigarette smoke are at a higher risk of developing lung cancer compared to those who are active smokers, especially due to the fact that the latter inhales a small percentage of smoke and then exhaled the largest quantity (Kelly, 2014). However, the American Nonsmokers` Rights Foundation and other proponents of banning of smoking in public places fails to contemplate that they do inhale more pollutants in the street corners especially when vehicle and industrial exhausts enters the air, compared to when a smoker lights a cigarette near them. Precisely, exhaust fumes from cookers in the nearby restaurants, fumes from cars, as well as dust in the city streets do more harm to individuals compared to occasional whiff of cigarette smoke, and the ironic part of it is that there are no laws that have been formulated concerning kicking up dust, cooking or driving.
Moreover, no one is an island and this means that non smokers are free to walk away to other environments where they perceive to be safe or free from cigarette smoke. In addition, non smokers are free to keep off from areas where smoking is rampant, such as in bars and restaurants. In connection to this, most smokers tends to be considerate of their non smoking counterparts, especially by moving outside where they can smoke alone (Great Britain. 2005). However, the nonsmokers feel disturbed by the fact that someone is a smoker. They fail to contemplate the favors that the smokers accord to them by excusing themselves in order to smoke. The nonsmokers need to contemplate that one man`s meat is another man`s poison, and if they do not smoke, they should not condemn those who do. Some entrepreneurs goes a step further of creating a friendly environments for both non smokers and smokers, and this is by having a smoking section for the smokers.
Moreover, imposing restrictions of some behaviors makes most individuals to do it even more. For example, it is unfortunate to encounter an area with a polite notice, ‘No dumping in this compound’ but in the real sense a mountain of compost is the welcoming feature on such an area. Moreover, most countries have not legalized marijuana, but the percentage of individuals taking this drug is even more than those alcohol and cigarettes. In Holland, the use of marijuana is legal, but it has the lowest number of individuals who use it in the world (Chapman, 2008). This means that restricting cigarette smoking in some places would stimulate more individuals to smoke in any place that they wish, while allowing cigarette smokers to smoke in any place would result to few individuals smoking in public places or in the working places. Precisely, there is no need of wasting taxpayers’ money in the name of enforcing laws of banning cigarette smoking in the public and yet, most smokers will continue to smoke in the public.
In addition, cigarette smoking is a personal decision, and every smoker is aware of the dangers associated with smoking. This means that if an individual wants to die sooner, let him or her proceed to smoke. there is no need of other external parties to interfere with an individual`s decision yet they are not being affected in any way. Banning smoking in public as well as jailing individuals who are smokers is equivalent to interfering with the welfare of others (Viscusi, 2002). though smoking is dangerous to an individual`s health, banning the aspect of smoking means all the other behaviors that increases an individual`s risk of dying are illegal as well. For example, banning smoking is similar to burning unprotected sex, which in the modern world puts individuals into the risk of contradicting sexually transmitted diseases.
American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation, (2011). Works to pass laws to protect the public from second-hand smoke in all enclosed public places. https://www.smc-connect.org/locations/american-nonsmokers-rights-foundation
Chapman, S. (2008). Should smoking in outside public spaces be banned? No. BMJ: British Medical Journal (Online), 337.
Gough D., (2013). Remember when you could smoke anywhere and everywhere? Retrieved from, http://www.chathamdailynews.ca/2013/02/13/remember-when-you-could-smoke-anywhere-and-everywhere
Great Britain. (2005). Smoking in public places: First report of Session 2005-06. London: Stationery Office.
Kelly, C. (2014). Outdoor smoking in hospitals and health facilities. Should it be banned?. Munich: GRIN Verlag GmbH.
Viscusi, W. K. (2002). Smoke-filled rooms: A postmortem on the tobacco deal. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.