say NO to public smoke

May 10, 2010
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You walk inside a restaurant and sit down at a table in the back next to a booth of three men holding cigarettes, smoke fuming out of their mouths. Tick, tock, tick, tock. Five minutes have passed and your aorta becomes stiffer. Tick, tock, tick, tock. Thirty minutes pass and the blood vessel’s ability to dilate to get more blood to the heart and other organs is reduced. Tick, tock, tick, tock. After two hours, your heart rhythm is disturbed and you begin to violently cough. Over 50,000 nonsmokers die from second hand smoke every year. What can we do to help the people who inhale smoke but are not smokers? We can ban smoking in restaurants and public places where people who care about their health visit. Why should smokers be able to endanger our health because of their bad choices?

One of the worst things that can happen to a new mother is SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome. One known cause of SIDS is involuntary smoking or inhaling second hand smoke. Everything the mother takes in, the baby takes in. If a pregnant woman were to go out to eat three days a week to a restaurant where public smoking was legal, there would be a HUGE risk to the baby that it would die from second hand smoke. Children exposed to second hand smoke also have the risk of lung infections, pneumonia, ear infections, or severe, deadly asthma. Children living with a smoker increases a nonsmokers risk of lung cancer or heart disease by 30%.

What is the influence public smoking has on kids? Say you walk into a restaurant with a child and see a lot of people smoking. The more a child sees this kind of thing, the more they think it is okay to do. Children are more fragile to second hand smoke than most adults, making it easier for them to get lung cancer or have heart problems. How is it fair that one kids life could be on the line because someone made the wrong choice to smoke?

While, smoking is a terrible habit it is also a precious source of revenue for the government and the economy. Our economy depends on smokers to provide their taxes to the government. An article in The New York Times said the government collected more than $19 billion in cigarette taxes in 2007 alone. Additionally, the federal government receives approximately $8 billion from tobacco taxes each year. Now, if smoking was actually banned in public places such as restaurants and bars, the owners would lose customers as well as sales. If people are not allowed to smoke in a restaurant, then they will migrate somewhere else where they are allowed to smoke, and that restaurant will lose a lot of money. However I still believe that it would be better to lose money then innocent people’s lives.

I believe that there should be special rooms for smokers if not banning smoking all together. People should have the right to be healthy and should be able to make their own decisions instead of decisions being made for them.

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