Ban Smoking in Public Areas This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

     Have you ever come home with the stench of smoke clinging to your clothes? Or inhaled a cloud of smoke as a group of smokers passed, causing you to cough and choke? Neither experience is pleasant, and this is why smoking should be banned in public areas.

Smoking can be dangerous not only for the smoker, but also for those around the smoker. Secondhand smoke is the third leading cause of preventable death (after active smoking and alcohol), according to the Manitoba Medical Association. They also say that the smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals, 50 of which are known to be cancer-related. Secondhand smoke has been linked to heart and respiratory disease; lung, breast, cervical, and nasal sinus cancers; strokes and miscarriages. In children, dangers include sudden infant death syndrome, fetal growth impairment, bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma and middle-ear disease. People who smoke subject themselves to deadly diseases, as well as long- and short-term health problems. Non-smokers should not have to live with the consequences of smokers' actions.

Not permitting smoking in public areas may help people refrain from smoking. Some argue that there would be a significant decline in the clientele in bars and clubs, but non-smokers actually outnumber smokers three to one. A ban could actually increase people going out because nonsmokers would be more comfortable.

There may also be a sudden realization of the dangers of smoking. With the state government taking a stand, it may cause people to take another look at the deadly factors of "cancer sticks."

After a recent incident from the widely known Target Market program, people are beginning to feel that anti-tobacco efforts are losing their focus. At a local event a couple years ago, a punk band hired by the anti-drug campaign played songs that included positive images of cigarettes and other drugs in their lyrics. This is not the most efficient way to use money set aside for anti-drug programs. Instead, this money could be used to enforce the laws that should be passed to ban smoking in public places.

Sometimes those you think would be against the idea of making smoking illegal actually agree with it. Patrick Reynolds, heir to the tobacco empire, rejected becoming president of his family's tobacco company because it was proven to have caused both his father's and his older brother's deaths. Now, he runs a campaign to stop people from smoking. In his presentation, he states that a smoker will spend about $1,400 a year for one pack a day. Reynolds also says that the more secondhand smoke you inhale, the more susceptible you are to health problems. People working in casinos, for example, are up to eight times as likely to be in danger of the effects of secondhand smoke. Banning smoking in public places can prevent death and illness.

Some say that no matter what, nothing will reduce or stop cigarette smoking altogether. The laws banning smoking might convince some to quit and create a safer environment for everyone else. Also, some argue that there isn't money to carry this out. The money that goes into programs such as Target Market and Big Tobacco will be cut and the difference will go toward law enforcement.

Smoking is a dangerous habit that not only affects the smoker, but those around him or her. Banning the smoking in public will keep non-smokers safer. People who smoke subject themselves to deadly diseases by choice. Why should non-smokers be forced to be around it?

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 32 comments. Post your own now!

Lily">This teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
today at 8:01 am
i love this so much!
animatedbabies said...
Jan. 15, 2017 at 12:37 pm
I hate how children can obtain this smoke and have horrible lungs because of their parents decisions.
iivickieiiThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. said...
Oct. 30, 2016 at 11:35 am
I hope there will be a decrease in smokers for the future because its horrible seeing someone ruin their health.
Pao87 said...
Sept. 17, 2016 at 9:46 pm
Smoking is a horrid habit
STUFFY2017 said...
Sept. 14, 2016 at 3:07 pm
The author did well by explaining the risks and seriousness of smoking. Teens may read this article and have a better understanding of the seriousness of second-hand smoking. I feel that this article could have been better if the author used pictures to show the seriousness of smoking on the body. Teens are more visual and they need to see pictures of actual teens who have been affected by smoking. Finally, the article should have talked about a real-life story about a parent or someone who act... (more »)
blue- said...
Jun. 10, 2015 at 10:20 pm
While I do agree smoking is harmful... I would say banning them from smoking in public places is not smart. Where do they smoke then? In their restroom? Which is probably shared with a toddler? The kitchen? Basement? I think not. Sure it irritates non-smokers around them... they shouldn't have to do it in a crowd. Perhaps away from crowded areas would be better. To me it's better than a smoker feeling segregated and a non-smoker feeling intoxicated.
STUFFY2017 replied...
Sept. 28, 2016 at 3:30 pm
I really that you agree that smoking is harmful. I agree that smokers need their own section to smoke in public areas. I do not think that a smoker would feel segregated if they were with other smokers in a smoking section. They shouldn't be allowed to smoke in crowded areas, we both agreed that smoking is harmful.
Claire said...
May 9, 2015 at 7:53 am
Wow, the details, the adjectives, the heart felt story was beautifully written. You have talent. Don't ever stop writing. Keep up the good work and carry on.
SallySunshine said...
Feb. 24, 2015 at 5:47 pm
@Midnight5765 Honey, your analogy was bad. Also, saying that smokers aren't allowed in anti-smoking areas is not segregation. They aren't banning people from smoking in a certain place because they'd never smoke, but because they don't want the dangers of smoker around. So, your argument is invalid.
Midnight5765 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Jul. 15, 2014 at 4:11 pm
I have to kindly disagree with this statement. I have lived with smoker my entire life, and though I know what harm it could do to them or myself, I am not going to support them having to smoke somewhere else. It's like saying you can't enter a bar because of the shirt you wear may not be like by someone else (bad analogy sorry). It is not fair to try to separate people because they are different than you and do things that you wouldn't do. Segregation is not the answer, it never was and it nev... (more »)
Midnight5765 This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. replied...
Jul. 15, 2014 at 4:12 pm
Sorry it got so long, thought I could separate it in sentences!
Lilli said...
Jun. 1, 2014 at 5:22 pm
While I agree that we need to reduce smoking in public places, I do not think that a ban on smoking in such places is a good idea. Such legislation would force smokers unwilling or unable to give up smoking to do so in their homes, posing a greater risk to their children and families. Young children, especially, would have no choice but inhale the smoke, and would be put at a much greater risk for all the health problems you discuss. Additionally, smoke in contained spaces lingers longer, causin... (more »)
12323123132 replied...
Mar. 30, 2016 at 1:27 pm
so its ok to harm other children out in public places? you have to realize that it is killing innocent citizens and you can't limit non smokers to not be there.
STUFFY2017 replied...
Sept. 28, 2016 at 3:53 pm
@Lilli I agree with a portion of what you are saying. Smokers should have there own section and be allowed only a certain percentage of area to smoke in. I really agree on the law your states has, but that law should be pressed all the way to ten feet away from all schools, churches, libraries, and any other places where there is a big gathering of children as well as adults. I feel this way because second-hand smoking is just as dangerous and smoking alone.
Cypris said...
Jan. 20, 2014 at 4:54 pm
Oh my goodness-this is SO good! If only it would happen NOW!!
MarkJallayu This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 7, 2013 at 12:33 pm
Nice piece. I like your article because people who are around people that smoke are harm by the toxic. I believe we should "ban smoking in public areas.
hannaj15 said...
Nov. 15, 2013 at 5:44 pm
Awesome essay!  Let's just make tobacco an illegal drug. It's disgusting.
rheame said...
Oct. 24, 2013 at 6:42 am
this is really very true!!!!! i totally agree with you. we need to have free,clean air to breathe.
stellamaare said...
Aug. 19, 2013 at 11:49 am
I think that your article is right!!!
stellamaare said...
Aug. 19, 2013 at 11:48 am
In Russia this law from 1-st June of this year. I think that's right too!!! I think that smokers can use electronic sigarettes, if they can't live without nicotine.  Or they can use patches or bubble-gums with it.
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