Smoking in Public Places Term Paper

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Smoking in Public Places

Like many smokers, David W. Cowles started smoking in his teens. He wanted to look older, to appear more sophisticated, to fit in. Today, after 50 years of smoking, Cowles has finally stopped. Still, it seems he did not stop early enough. Shortly after, Cowles was diagnosed with lung cancer and emphysema. Surgeons removed the growth in his lungs but to this day, Cowles confesses to having difficulty breathing (Cowles).

Cowles' case is typical of most smokers, and has added dimensions as well. His father was a smoker, another reason why Cowles started smoking early. Additionally, now that the dangers of second-hand smoke have been well-documented, people like Cowles are worrying about the possibility of exposing their loved ones and people around them to possible carcinogens.

The recognition of the detrimental effects of smoking has given rise to calls for smoking bans. Because cigarette smoke also harms non-smokers, cigarette smoking should be banned in public places. This includes places of work, where there is at least one nonsmoker, as well as all public buildings.
Additionally, smoking should be banned in all places where the public congregate ("The Government Should Increase Efforts to Reduce Smoking").

Supporters of the ban argue that most people spend their time in two "microenvironments," namely home and work. People who spend time in these environments with smokers are therefore at a greater risk of cancer and other illnesses. Those who are exposes in places like restaurants, bars and casinos are also at risk. Because of these health risks, supporters argue that smoking should be banned in such places ("The Government Should Increase Efforts to Reduce Smoking"). For anti-smoking activists, the ban is a matter of public safety.

Critics of the ban see cigarette regulations as infringement of their rights. They state that because anti-smoking activists could not regulate behavior in private homes, they try to do so in public places. The choice of whether to patronize a smoking or non-smoking bar should be left up to the patron. Also, if waiters or bartenders do not mind….....

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