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The Smoking Ban
The Smoking Ban
Not Smoking in Public Places: The Simple Choice
Have you ever been in a restaurant eating a delicious meal and suddenly get choked up by cigarette smoke? If you are like me the answer is yes. I personally despise that experience. Even though I smoke cigarettes I still despise being choked up by cigarette smoke while eating. You may wonder why a smoker would be bothered by cigarette smoke. The answer is simple; second hand smoke is far worse than regular cigarette smoke. When asked if I am for or against public smoking bans, I say that I am for it. Smoking in public places should be banned because second-hand smoke is a health risk to innocent people, is an irritation to smokers and non-smokers alike, and causes family stress.
What Are The Risks
First of all I would like to take this opportunity to explain how smoking in public places causes second-hand smoke. According to the executive summary of “Environmental Tobacco Smoke: Health Risk or Health Hype?” Author Unknown, second-hand smoke may also be a threat to health. The executive summary of “Environmental Tobacco Smoke: Health Risk or Health Hype?” can be found at http://www.acsh.org/publications/pubID.346/pub_detail.asp. After review of the information found within the executive summary I learned that second-hand smoke could aggravate asthma. My wife of eight years has asthma. The asthma she has was caused in my opinion by her parent’s second-hand smoke. Her parents would smoke cigarettes in their vehicle, with them in it, with the windows rolled up. They were made to breathe in the polluted air. As a result my wife and her two sisters have lost the use of 20% of their lungs. It is proven that second-hand smoke does deteriorate lung capacity.
The EPA has reported on http://www.epa.gov, “Secondhand smoke can trigger asthma episodes and increase the severity of attacks.” The best course of action to prevent asthma problems in non-smokers is, avoid smoking in your home and car as stated by the EPA. My wife, as I mentioned earlier, has slight asthma. She does not allow me to smoke in the house. When you are a smoker all you have to do is ask yourself if it is such a big deal to smoke outside. It really is not a big deal. I smoke outside and I enjoy it because I get an opportunity to unwind from my hectic day. The benefits to not smoking around non-smokers are greater than you may imagine.
Next, secondhand smoke is an irritant to smokers and non-smokers alike. Have you ever stayed at a relative’s house where they smoke? Have you ever noticed how your clothes smell when you get back to your home? That is because the cigarette smoke adheres to the cloths in your clothes. Move a painting in a smoker’s house to see that the white wall is really yellow. Now imagine that your lungs are the white walls and then you inhale secondhand smoke. Your lungs are now as polluted as the “yellow” walls. If I were a non-smoker I sure wouldn’t want to have my health ruined because people can smoke in a restaurant. Even as a smoker I don’t want that. Tell me the justice in that. You choose not to smoke but I do, because I can smoke where you are you suffer the same if not worse health problems.
What Should We Do
When I go to a restaurant that doesn’t allow smoking I don’t go to a different business. Some businesses claim that smoking bans have been the cause of their business shutting down. I disagree totally. The fact is, if your business is good it doesn’t matter whether people can smoke or not. Generally speaking people don’t go to businesses to smoke, they go to enjoy the attributes of that place. Most places that end up closing because of the bans are usually bars. I can understand that, if only slightly. When people go out to a bar they go to enjoy time spent with other people. A lot of people smoke during this time, perhaps due to alcohol induced intoxication. A public smoking ban should be placed on all establishments other than bars.
How could smoking in public places put undo stress on family? The answer is simple in a complex way. Lets use a scenario. You go to a restaurant and sit down near the smoking section. While you and your family are eating, all you notice is the haze in the air and the thickness of the air. All throughout your meal you and your family is coughing, your eyes are burning and the food taste bad. Cigarette smokers and their disgusting habit ruin your nice family outing. You and your spouse are irritated and start to fight about little unimportant things. Although this is a scenario it really happened to me. The same course of events happened to me three months previously. I did not realize at the time but the cause of the fighting was the cigarette smokers.
Couples may also disagree and argue about car and in home smoking. I smoke in my car but my wife doesn’t smoke in hers because she is not a smoker. However, I have agreed not to smoke in the house for her sake and the children’s sake.
In closing, you must understand the importance of not smoking around non-smokers. It all breaks down to a simple choice. Smokers choose to smoke and non-smokers choose not to. As human beings we must respect the decision other people make. I have been to many places where I could not smoke. Was it a big deal to me? No, it wasn’t. I respected the rules of the establishment and the people in the establishment. Do you go to church and smoke? What about libraries, do you smoke there? Do you smoke in movie theatres or grocery stores? The answer is NO. You don’t because smoking has been banned in those places for many years. You can survive not smoking in those establishments so why not in restaurants. Really the only place you can still smoke in is restaurants and bars. Let’s do the respectable thing and not smoke in restaurants.
I wrote this about three years ago when I still smoked. I have since quit smoking and I am glad that I did. Having been a smoker I understand the need for a cigarette, and being a non-smoker now I understand the need to not have second-hand smoke.
Copyright 2009 by Wesley Cox