Social

Prohibiting smoking in public places

The legal system should regulate smoking in public places by prohibiting it,and by rigorously enforcing the ban.Murder,robbery,aggressive actions,sale of drugs that are considered to be dangerous,overt sexual acts,unauthorized use of explosives,transport of toxic materials,and many other potentially dangerous or offensive actions are strictly regulated or fully banned in public places. Cigarettes are dangerous and offensive to those people who are exposed in public places. The term, in public, implies shared space. It must be considered that there are ill people, infants and children, pregnant women, elderly people, valuable and contributing members of society, animals, birds, insects, trees, plants, and air in that shared space. All are vulnerable to contamination and poisoning by toxins released in cigarette smoke. It is the purpose and duty of the legal system to protect people in shared space, as well as to uphold the protections promised in the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Second-hand smoke is damaging and illness-inducing. Victims are involuntarily exposed, and many have no voice or social influence to fight against this injustice. Infants and children, for example, cannot voluntarily leave a smoke-filled area, but are at the mercy of adult choices. It is known that the effects of second-hand smoke on children places them at risk for developing frequent colds, asthma, coughs that do not go away, ear infections, high blood pressure, learning and behavioral difficulties (The Cleveland Clinic). People who work in restaurants or other service-related industries, where they are frequently exposed to second-hand smoke, are another high risk group with no real choice to stop exposure, if they leave the area, they risk losing employment and income. If they stay, they regularly absorb carcinogens and various smoking-related toxins into their body, increasing their risk of lung cancer, heart disease, asthma, emphysema, eye and nose irritation (The Cleveland Clinic). Smoking cigarettes is potentially fatal. Because it is voluntary, it can be seen as an act of slow-motion suicide. When a smoker smokes, in public space, he/she is performing a public act of self-destruction, witnessed by children, teenagers, and other emotionally impressionable people. It is a horrifying act, a slower death than catching one’s body on fire, in protest, or jumping off a skyscraper, but horrifying anyway. Civilized people, who choose to kill themselves, should do so in private, not demand witnesses. This argument has merit precisely because the average person is informed about the potentially fatal consequences of smoking. The act of smoking raises imagery, based on real information in the minds of informed witness. The witness understands that smoking can lead to heart attacks, strokes, and lung cancer. The witness has seen examples of yellow teeth and yellowed nails on a smoker. The witness has smelled the stale aroma hanging in a smoker’s hair, house, and clothing. Perhaps the witness mourns the death of a loved one, lost to the consequences of smoking. The witness is involuntarily confronted by this imagery, when a smoker lights up in shared space. If the shared space is a restaurant, the witness suffers damage to a healthy appetite. If the witness has asthma, or other respiratory illness, the smoker obliviously antagonizes another’s health condition. If the shared space includes pregnant women, their unborn children are also endangered, along with the mothers-to-be. Along with the pregnant woman, the fetus comes into higher risk of developing lung cancer, emphysema, heart disease, allergies and asthma (The Cleveland Clinic). If the shared space is a public event, attention is forcibly re-directed to the smoker. If the shared space is a church hall or parking lot, the witness may suffer offense to his/her faith. If the shared space is a park, the beauty of connection with nature is compromised. The smoker sets a bad

Back To Top