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Ban Smoking in All Public Places

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Ban Smoking in All Public Places

Felicia N Nelson

Virginia College Online


Ban Smoking in All Public Places

Smoking has become one of the burning issues of today’s democratic society. Despite the fact that many researches proved the harm that smoking inflicted on the health of a person, both smokers and non-smokers continue speculating about smoking and its hazardous impact. Naturally, legislators have become prone to banning smoking in public places in order to ensure health and safety of non-smokers, who want to avoid the exposure to cigarette smoke involuntarily. The smokers themselves share different viewpoints as to the smoking ban. However, the tendency is continuing toward the ban of smoking in the majority of public places, which include bars, restaurants, stores, workplaces and others. To protect nonsmokers, many states are banning smoking in public places (See Figure 1). In addition to the states that have been listed as having smoke free laws, 10 more states have enacted laws that prohibits smoking in one or two venues, but not all three venues.

This essay focuses on laws that will prohibit smoking in private-sector worksites,

restaurants, and bars. (See Figure 1) These three venues have been selected because they are a

major source of exposure for nonsmoking patrons in public places. The CDC considers a state

smoke-free law to be comprehensive if it prohibits smoking in these three venues. Some states

have enact laws that have less stringent smoking restrictions. The restrictions for smoking in

designated areas or away from buildings have the state laws not effectively eliminating exposure

to second-hand smoke. The only way to keep second-hand smokers safe is to eliminate smoking

in all public places.

Some states strictly prohibits any type of lighting up where there is a public gathering,

while some make exceptions for freestanding bars to allow smoking in the establishment. There

are several states that have smoke-free laws that exempt stand-alone bars in places like Florida,

Arkansas and Tennessee. Some states take the bans even further, like in Hawaii prohibits

smoking on outdoor patios. While the state of New York law allows 25 percent of its outdoor

areas to be a smoking area as long as it is separated from nonsmokers. While other states banned

smoking with a wide variation to their laws. There have been several states this year alone that

have considered similar smoking bans, with some that prohibit smoking in vehicles where they

have young children as passengers.

The state of California was the first to adopt the smoke-free law in 1998.  Soon after

many states followed suit, with some states banning smoking completely in workplaces,

restaurants and bars. While other states banned smoking in some places but not in all places (e.g.

workplace and bars or bars and restaurants.)(See Figure 1). The spike in states smoke-free laws

have increased over the last few years. Therefore, the environmental impact of cigarettes can be

reduced by devising and passing the law that prohibits smoking in public places.

If the ban of smoking in all public places is imposed on the smokers, it may positively influence the smokers as well as the secondhand smokers, and non-smokers. The ban will ensure that the public places are safe for secondhand smokers and non-smokers, and they are not exposed to the adverse health effects induced by the released gases. Moreover, the ban will reduce or even eliminate the possibility of non-smokers or secondhand smokers to become active smokers in the future, thus diminishing the number of smokers, and decreasing the demand on cigarettes. The declining demand on tobacco products will eradicate the air, water, and soil pollution, which is entailed by the manufacturing, and consumption of cigarettes. The ban will probably exert more pressure and encourage people to quit smoking at home, around children. Therefore, the ban of smoking in all public places may have a positive outcome for the future of the society by devaluating smoking and encouraging healthy lifestyle.


References

American Cancer Society. (2014). Questions about Smoking, Tobacco, and Health. Retrieved from http://www.cancer.org/acs/groups/cid/documents/webcontent/002974-pdf.pdf

Sun, J., Prenzler, T., Buys,N., & McMeniman, M. (2012). Preventing smoking in open public places in university campus settings: A situational crime prevention approach. Health Education, 112, 47-60. doi: 10.1108/09654281211190254

CDC. Health hazard evaluation report: environmental and biological assessment of environmental tobacco smoke exposure among casino dealers, Las Vegas, Nevada. Cincinnati, OH: US Department of Health and Human Services, CDC, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health; 2009. Available at http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hhe/reports/pdfs/2005-0201-3080.pdf [pic 1]. Accessed April 14, 2011.

CDC. Vital Signs: Current cigarette smoking among adults aged ≥18 years---United States, 2009. MMWR 2010;59:1135--40.

Dunsenberry, Mary Branham. (2007). Butts Out: Many States Now Ban Smoking in Public Places. www.csg.org/knowledgecenter/docs/sn0708ButtsOut.pdf

States

Restaurants

Private Clubs/Bars

Casinos

Statewide Smoking Ban

Small Work Places

Exclusions

Arkansas

o

Yes

Bars/Restaurants

Indiana

o

Yes

Bar/Casinos

Tennessee

o

Yes

Bars/Restaurants/Adult Venues

Alabama

o

o

o

No

Alaska

o

o

o

No

Kentucky

o

o

o

No

Mississippi

o

o

o

No

Missouri

o

o

o

No

Oklahoma

o

o

o

No

South Carolina

o

o

o

No

Texas

o

o

o

No

West Virginia

o

o

o

No

Wyoming

o

o

o

No

Georgia

o

o

Yes

Some Work Places

Idaho

o

Yes

Restuarants/Workplaces

Nevada

Yes

o

Bars/Casinos/Designated Rooms In Reataurants

New Hampshire

Yes

Bar/Restaurants/Other workplaces

North Carolina

Yes

o

Bars/Restaurants/Other Workplaces

Virginia

o

o

o

Yes

Some Work Places

California

o

o

o

Yes

o

Colorado

o

o

o

Yes

o

Connecticut

o

o

o

Yes

o

Delaware

o

o

o

Yes

o

Florida

o

o

Yes

o

Bars

Illinois

o

o

o

Yes

o

Louisiana

o

o

No

o

Any Two Venues

...

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