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April 22nd, 2009
“Smoking claims about 430,700 lives each year and costs the U.S. approximately $97.2 billion in health care expenses and lost productivity.” (Nicotine fighter in chief) It seems that people should know how bad smoking is bad for them, but obviously they don’t because people are still smoking. Sometimes laws are made to help people lead healthier lifestyles, which is one reason why I think that smoking bans are put into place. Last summer the State of Iowa enacted a smoking ban, banning smoking in enclosed places, including places of employment, restaurants, and bars. Some Iowans are arguing that this ban is going too far. I agree with this ban because not only will it help to make Iowans healthier, but it will also help to attract more patrons to restaurants, bars, and other public places. Finally, I agree with this ban because Iowa joined much of the rest of the country and world in placing bans on smoking
Most everyone should know that smoking is harmful to the body and that it possibly could kill the smoker, but “Smoking is the number one cause of preventable death and disease in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently reported on a study in Pueblo, Colorado, that showed a 41 percent drop in heart attacks three years after the city enacted the smoking ban.” (Are Georgia’s antismoking laws tough enough? 1) I never would have thought that these numbers would be so high. It is amazing how many people smoke who probably do not realize how deadly it could be. However, this statistic shows people that with having a ban will help with the health effects on the smoker’s body.
“‘The key point to remember is that smokers kill themselves’, says Richard Peto at the University of Oxford. ‘A few are probably killing other people, but half of all smokers will be killed by their own tobacco.’” (Novak) “Smoking kills almost every user but blacks suffer disproportionately from diseases associated with smoking.” (Nicotine fighter in chief 1) I understand it might be hard to break an addiction but people who smoke are killing themselves and they should know that the way to keep this from happening is to stop smoking completely. This will not only help with the health effects on themselves but it will also keep people around them from getting second-hand smoke.
A tremendous amount of statistics have evolved since the placement of smoking bans. “In Ireland, statistics have shown since the ban was enforced, smoking was reduced 25.5% in March 2004 to 24% in June 2006. Studies were also shown that in November 2005, there was a decrease in second-hand smoke and also respiratory symptoms in non-smoking bar staff. (Stanley 1) Hopefully as the years go by with the smoking ban, these numbers will continue to decrease. “Other epidemiologists worry that with all the focus on second-hand smoke, the attention is being drawn away from the real issue: the dangers of smoking itself.” (Novak 3) Smoking is terrible for the smoker’s body, and people should take this in consideration when consuming tobacco.
Second-hand smoke is very dangerous to people around the smoker which is unfair to the people because they are being put at risk for adverse health effects. “Smoke free England claims that exposure to second-hand smoke increases a non-smokers risk of getting lung cancer by 24% and risk of heart disease by 25%.” (Novak 2) Why should we put others be put risk for these diseases so the smokers can enjoy their cigarettes? “The surgeon general indicated a 25-30% increase in risk of coronary heart disease from exposure to second-hand smoke.”(Novak 2) No one should have to be at risk for getting heart disease or lung cancer because they are at the bar enjoying their drink next to a smoker.
Terry Pechacek, associate director at the Office on Smoking and Health at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia, says, “Exposure to second-hand smoke for even a short period of time can have adverse health effects and compounds in tobacco smoke have the ability to cause cancer in humans.” (Novak 3) “Pechacek says that a tobacco researcher has said that the drop in heart attacks occurs mainly in non-smokers.” (Novak 3)
In Ireland, a smoking ban was put into effect in March 2004, this hopefully would encourage people to give up smoking completely but the main reason was to protect the barman. “Smokefree England suggests that 30 minutes of breathing in second-hand smoke can raise your risk in having a heart attack.” (Novak 3) “But can you really become ill just sitting in a bar next to a smoker?” ‘Saying just a little exposure is killing people is going overboard,’” says Michael Sigel, an epidemiologist at Boston University. He also believes that banning smoking in outdoor places is going too far and risks losing support for smoking bans overall.” (Novak 3) I agree that second-hand smoke is a tremendous health hazard, but no one is going to have a heart attack from 30 minutes of exposure.” (Novak 3) Michael Sigel might be right, but even a second being around second-hand smoke can increase risk of getting smoke-related diseases.
Third-hand smoke may be something that people do not hear about very often but it is still very dangerous to the human body. “Late 2008, researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital showed third-hand smoke that is, smoke lingering in hair or clothes even when on one is smoking anymore- can poison children with chemicals.” (Are Georgia’s antismoking laws tough enough?) Why should parents be restricted to take their families certain places because of third-hand -smoke? This is not fair for families or even for people who have asthma or a disease that might be triggered if they are around smoke. People should be able to go into a restaurant or a place of business without leaving smelling like smoke or being exposed to something that they have no control over. Families and others should be able to go into a restaurant without getting the risk of lung cancer or other smoking-related diseases because of someone else’s addiction.
The smoking ban is not only affecting the smokers, but it is also affecting bars, restaurants, and other businesses. “People might say that pubs are going broke, and then people are causing traffic problems because they have to stand outside to smoke,’ says Stanton Glantz. ‘Back in 1998, banning smoking in bars was not easy, even for California. The ban made it hard for businesses and it would mean denying adults the freedom to smoke.” (Novak 1) All of this might be true but “more than half of California’s former smokers agreed that the smoke-free workplace and bar laws made it easier for them to quit, and most smokers reduced their cigarette in take because of the bans.” (Novak 2)
Everyone should be able to work in a smoke-free workplace. Ever since the smoking bans have been put into place in some European countries, studies has shown “The smoking ban does help clean up the air in bars but a study compared the air quality before and after the Italian 2005 smoking ban which found a 95% reduction in airborne nicotine. Within months of the ban on smoking in bars in Ireland and Scotland, bar workers reported fewer respiratory problems, and breath, saliva and blood samples contained fewer tobacco particles of exposure than before the bans.” (Novak 2)
Many bar owners and others have argued about the smoking ban making a negative effect on their bar. “County Attorney Mark Walk, ‘believes the smoking ban is unjust because individual business owners are being denied the opportunity to decide whether a legal product can be consumed in their businesses’” (Jacobs 2) Another man named Hodge, who is a smoker, said, “’I think the smoking ban is a joke myself and I think maybe we have too much government. If you don’t want to see nude dancing, don’t go to a strip club. If you don’t want to smell like smoke, don’t go to a bar.’” (Jacobs 2) I can see these two men’s points but people should not have to be limited to where they can enjoy a drink or a meal when being surrounded by smoke.
Some places received more business since the ban in Ireland has taken effect. For example, “Mulligans pub, who is managed by Gary Cusack in Dublin, Ireland, said, ‘the number of consumers decreased within months of having the ban but then picked back up with the unusual levels of business and as for the staff, they are very happy working in a healthier environment. Mulligans also made an outdoor to keep smokers happy and now are getting business from families with children.”(Stanley 1) I think that having an outdoor place for smokers is alright, but smoke will still linger into other people’s air space. At least Mulligans is trying to make everyone happy and trying to keep his business running efficiently.
No one should be exposed to something that is harmful to them just so a smoker can enjoy their tobacco addiction. “On the other hand, tobacco industries argued that establishments will lose customers if they do not allow smoking in restaurants, cafes, and bars.” (Stanley 2) The State of Georgia agrees. “Georgia’s Smokefree Air Act of is allowing people to smoke inside but made several exceptions, including one for bars or restaurants in which all workers and guests are 18 or older. “ (Are Georgia’s antismoking laws tough enough? 1 should be no exceptions. I feel like every bar, restaurant and every other business should be smoke free compl) I think that many people will still smoke regardless if the smoking bans are complete or partial. However, no matter what effect a smoking ban has, I think every bar, restaurant, and every other business should be smoke-free completely.
The smoking ban has been a controversial issue in the U.S. and many other countries. “The anti-smoking effort should extend beyond U.S. borders. America and other countries have shrunken markets for tobacco products with laws, taxes, and bans. The World Health Organization estimates by 2010, cancer will have surpassed heart disease as the world’s leading killer.” (Nicotine fighter in chief 2) Iowa recent law banning smoking in public places joins us to much of the rest of the world. “Smoking has been banned almost everywhere, including bars, restaurants, and other businesses. More than 20 countries are following the U.S. in their footsteps. Even though, In March 2004, Ireland became the first country to enact such a ban. Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, and now England are following right with the U.S. and other countries.” (Novak 1) I am surprised at how many countries are placing smoking bans on bars and other businesses. “Nearly two years after Ireland became one of the first countries to strictly enforce a comprehensive ban on smoking in indoor places, including bars, cafes, and restaurants, more countries are taking tough and not so tough action against passive smoking.” (Stanley 1) I think that every country should place a smoking ban on every place of business, but of course, some people believe otherwise.
Many other countries are struggling to decide about smoking bans. Singapore introduced laws restricting smoking in public places and prohibiting tobacco advertisements in the 1970s, which I think is a good idea. “In 2001, Israel became one of the first countries to impose a ban on smoking in public places but the enforcement has been weak but in France, the debate is still raging over the list of public places where smoking should not be allowed.” (Stanly 1) Then, there are countries who do not want the smoking ban. For example, The Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is the only country to date that had banned the sale of tobacco products altogether, however, this has created risks of tobacco in the black market.” (Stanly 1) “Belgium has a partial ban which allows smoking in bars, and cafes with ventilation and an area for non-smokers.” (Stanley 1-2) Partial bans, however, still is putting people who don’t smoke at high risk for second-hand smoke and other smoke related diseases.
Many U.S states have joined the smoking ban trend. “Arizona, Illinois, Iowa, Montana, Ohio, New York, and Massachusetts, all have placed some kind of smoking ban in their state and the list is growing. Even sales tax receipts for bars, nightclubs, and restaurants in Illinois after a year of having the smoking ban, has increased. One bar owner said, he is getting more business from people with asthma and smokers who necessarily like their smoke second-hand.” (Are Georgia’s antismoking laws tough enough? 1) It is amazing how many states are putting a smoking ban in place, and how it is affecting businesses is remarkable. Businesses are getting more business than ever with people who don’t want to reek like smoke and who also do not want to breathe second-hand smoke.
The smoking ban has swept so many people off their feet in realizing how unsafe smoking is and how it can have adverse health effects on the human body. I think more people need to realize that smoking tobacco is slowing killing themselves everyday they use it. They are putting themselves and others at risk for lung cancer, heart disease, and other smoke-related diseases. The smoking has also affected not only the users but also the place of business. Bars, cafes, restaurants, and other businesses have been majorly affected by the smoking ban. Either the place of business has been having great business or not so much. Smoking bans have been place just about everywhere, not only in the U.S. but also in many other countries. I think that the smoking ban is a great start for good change in the world.