Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Public Smoking Act

Public Smoking Act

Public smoking bans have been implemented and repealed throughout the United States since the 1960s, when health professionals began attributing certain diseases to smoking. Each state is responsible for drafting and implementing their own policies regarding smoking in public places. While most non-smokers support any act which prohibits smoking in public places, many smokers feel that such polices are a violation of their civil rights.


The first recorded smoking ban was around 1590, when Pope Urban VII decreed that anyone caught using tobacco near the church would immediately be excommunicated. It was not until much more recently that smoking was considered a health hazard. In the mid 1990's California passed the first statewide smoking ban. California's smoking ban made it illegal for anyone to smoke inside a restaurant. Since then there have been many actions passed throughout the country, each containing its own specific addendums and policies.

Why Ban Public Smoking?

Most public smoking acts are designed to protect non-smokers from the harmful side effects of smoking. The smoke from cigarettes contains nicotine and tar. Nicotine is a natural byproduct found in tobacco and can be highly addictive. Tar and other additives have been linked with a greater chance of contracting several diseases, including lung cancer, emphysema and heart disease. While people who smoke have chosen to accept the risks associated with smoking, non-smokers often are subjected to smoke inhalation when people are smoking nearby. Preventing smokers from being able to smoke in public helps reduce the risk to non-smokers.

Second Hand Smoke

The primary cause for concern is that people who do not smoke may be subjected to the smoke from those using tobacco products around them. Many service staff at bars, restaurants and nightclubs complain of having the same symptoms of smokers. This occurs when patrons of these establishments are allowed to use tobacco in areas where non-smokers work. While other patrons may be safely seated in a non-smoking section of a restaurant or bar, those who must offer hospitality services to smoking patrons are still at risk. Smoking on public transportation had been banned in most cities. Trains and buses consist of very small compartments that allow nowhere for non-smokers to escape the toxic fumes cigarettes produce.

Smoker's Rights

Many people who smoke feel that public smoking acts, such as bans and higher taxation on the sale of cigarettes, are a form of discrimination. Many who smoke do so because of their addiction to nicotine. Many of these individuals feel that their addiction is an illness, and as such should be handled with greater care and compassion. Being forced to smoke in certain areas may cause them to feel ostracized. Still other smokers feel that regardless of health considerations it is a clear violation of their civil rights to be told where and when they may smoke.

Some Risks of Smoking

There are several well known and documented physical and health related side effects linked to smoking. Some social considerations to also consider include addiction, which may effect a smoker's ability to properly prioritize lifestyle issues. When addicted to any drug, people may find themselves feeling that feeding their addiction is the only thing that matters. Once the body becomes convinced that it requires a drug or narcotic to function properly, it will often fail to function without it. This makes quitting not only difficult but also potentially dangerous as well.

Social consideration to coworkers and others is also a potential pitfall of smoking. Smoking tobacco releases smoke, which has a very powerful and pungent odor. Sale's and client relations specialists may have difficulty impressing or maintaining clients who find the odor unprofessional or repulsive. Second-hand smoke is also dangerous for pregnant women and children. More so than the rest of us, their immune systems are compromised or simply underdeveloped. Smoking around one's family may increase their chances of experiencing certain health risks.

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