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Smoking, Does It Repulse You?
You go out to dinner with your relatives to celebrate your brother’s high school graduation at a lovely but pricy restaurant. All of your relatives including your baby cousin, who is six months old, and your four grandparents, all of whom are above eighty years of age, have attended. The host leads you to the non-smoking part of the restaurant and everyone starts to settle in. The meals are cooked and served with elegance. But as soon as you take the first bite of your food, you start to smell something. That something repulses you and makes you lose your appetite. That something makes your baby cousin cough uncontrollably while also making your whole family’s noses cringe. That something is the smoke coming from a cigarette filled with deadly chemicals.
The smoke soon travels like a shadow to everyone in the room (like a shadow). Your night is ruined, your graduating brother is disappointed and 400 dollars is wasted on a depressing night. All night you think about why the manager would allow such a vile act to be committed in his restaurant. Even though smoking relieves stress of some people, it repulses non-smokers and should be banned in restaurants, bars and workplaces.
Bob Bradley, a senior writer in the newsletter The Restaurant Report, had the misfortune of having this experience which triggered him to write an article. The article, “It Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema and May Complicate Pregnancy,” shows how the smoking ruined Bob’s night out and his abhorrence towards smoking (Bradley). Because Bob is an ordinary guy, this shows how this situation can happen to anyone, even pregnant women in workplaces. If a woman smokes during pregnancy, she can harm the baby as well as herself. The baby can face lung disease and many other disorders. When a woman smokes, it doubles the risk of the baby having a low birth weight. In 2004, 11.9 percent of female smokers had babies with a low birth weight (less than five and a half pounds) compared to 7.2 percent of non smokers (March of Dimes). More importantly, no parents want a child with a disorder or, even worse, a death at birth.
As of April 20th, 2009, there are forty-four states that allow smoking in attached bars or
separately ventilated rooms with the exception of some cities in those states (American Nonsmokers’ Rights Foundation). The non-smoking laws of a certain city’s restaurants and bars only pertain to that city. If a person visits a state like Colorado, there are only seven cities there that ban smoking in all workplaces, restaurants, and bars. There are about 22.8 percent of all adults eighteen and over smoke in Colorado (101 Smoking Facts). So about one in every five adults smokes and affects the people around them.
Some people claim that if smoking in banned in restaurants, then the restaurants may lose business. A survey taken by Elizabeth Klein, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Health Behavior and Health Promotion Division of the College of Public Health at Ohio State University disproves this idea, and she concluded that no economic consequences were suffered by restaurants that with total bans, partial bans, and no ban on smoking (Eureka!). Smokers who absolutely need to light up during a meal can walk outside and smoke privately instead of bothering other customers. Furthermore, she stated that, “it is obvious that a total ban on smoking is the only way to protect employees and patrons from second hand smoke, which is known to cause lung cancer, heart disease and respiratory diseases” (Eureka!). A smoking ban on restaurants protects people from the terrible effects of smoking which may change your life in ways you cannot imagine.
All smokers affect the patrons around them even by second-hand smoke – even though they might not realize it. These people have made a terrible choice and have made everyone suffer because of it. Smoking takes the lives of 438,000 Americans every year. This number includes the non-smokers affected by second-hand smoke and the babies that die at birth because of their smoking mothers (101 Smoking Facts). The smokers have to be more conscious about the people around them and not just think about lighting up. Even though tobacco is a major export of our country, it takes a big toll for the patrons who become sick because of it.
Some restaurants have a partition to separate smoking and non-smoking areas. But the smoke does succeed in getting through the miniscule holes and cracks. Therefore, the partitions are not successful in their purpose and have many times deceived customers walking into the restaurant. Author Bob Bradley writes that “the smoke ‘magically’ disappears and remains totally confined to that area.” (Bradley) Thus, he ridicules the impractical idea of a partition door that may not work in restaurants and bars. The smell of cigarette smoke is unique and usually overrides any other aroma in the room such as the scent of alcohol in restaurants. If smoking is banned in all restaurants and bars, money would not be wasted on partitions that may not even work. It would also satisfy non-smoking customers as well.
The second amendment states that “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed”(The United States Constitution). People are not allowed to have guns in public places because along with danger, fear is created. Just like smoking, guns affect the user and the people around him/her. Moreover, the use of cigarettes and guns can both end in death. If both objects can result in death, then why is one banned in public places and not the other?
It may take many years to get all fifty states and the commonwealths of the United States to ban smoking in all restaurants, bars and workplaces, but as soon as it does, our society will turn healthier and safer. People can ask managers to try to prohibit smoking and even ask the city government. As an adult wouldn’t you like to go to a restaurant where you and your kids are safe from second-hand smoke?
"American Nonsmokers Rights Foundation." 3 June 2009
Bradley, Bob. ""It Causes Lung Cancer, Heart Disease, Emphysema, and May Complicate Pregnancy"" Restaurant Report. 8 June 2009
Martin, J. A. "Smoking During Pregnancy - March of Dimes." Pregnancy, Babies, Prematurity - March of Dimes Foundation. 08 June 2009
"Partial bans on smoking don't save jobs in restaurants and bars | Eureka! Science News." Eureka! Science News | Latest science articles & news. 18 May 2009. 11 June 2009
"Smoking 101 Fact Sheet - American Lung Association site." Home - American Lung Association site. 08 June 2009
"The United States Constitution - The U.S. Constitution Online - USConstitution.net." Index Page - The U.S. Constitution Online - USConstitution.net. 08 June 2009