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!

bkkkkkkkrockkk!!!! said...
Jul. 12, 2013 at 1:13 pm
 I believe it would be unfair to ban smoking in public places. This could potentially cause severe stress for cigarette smokers and might even lead to such seemingly unrelated events as car accidents, accidents at work, verbal or physical violence.:<
Feb. 25, 2015 at 2:37 pm
its the persons fault for being involved with such disgusting addictive habits and they can smoke in there house isn't that enough
AugustSummerFling This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 23, 2013 at 10:41 pm
I totally agree with you. Yes, it is the smoker's choice to subject himself to smoking. Also, it is the non-smoker's choice to be free of second hand smoke. So, yes! Ban smoking in public places!
zebraqueen62 said...
May 1, 2013 at 1:00 pm
Here in Ohio they banned people from smokng in public places....
eren oziner said...
Mar. 25, 2013 at 12:56 am
i love cats!! xoxo gossip goat
MaccabeePreiss said...
Feb. 26, 2013 at 7:49 pm
100% Agree
99joselyn said...
Feb. 26, 2013 at 7:45 pm
I like how you wrote this! The only problem about this is that it seems sort of unrealistic. I highly doubt anyone can ban smoking because its their deduction and you can't stop someone from doing something they want. Sure it is unhealthy, but they chose to put themselves at that risk. Also, I do not think that banning smoking in public places would cause a lot more people to go. On the contrary, less people would go. Since the place is not allowing others to smoke, the smokers would leave and b... (more »)
99joselyn replied...
Feb. 26, 2013 at 7:46 pm
I meant decision!
breebree said...
Mar. 4, 2011 at 7:51 am
while smoking is harmful you should have no say what people want to do to there body, just because the smell bothers u dosnt mean u can ban it for everyone else, the should ban you public places
kdpurple12 said...
Jan. 28, 2011 at 10:41 am
I agree with the smoking should be banned because it can cause cancer and teens get the wrong idea
Superdooper said...
Aug. 17, 2010 at 4:49 pm
Agreed! Smoking can absolutly harm more than the smoker themself!
Scorpio replied...
Jun. 21, 2012 at 8:03 pm
My x husband smoked 3 pks a day.Yes! he died of throut and lung cancer! He wasn't a good person. But no one deserves to die the way he did, with he face hanger down. After failed operations. BUT!  He choose to smoke and left 6 adult children and 12 grandchildren to be without a Father & grandfather!
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