Ban Smoking in Public Places

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Have you ever been in a restaurant eating your favourite food, then just when you are about to take a bite, you inhale a cloud of smoke coming from the nearby smoking section? This has been a complaint from many non-smoking restaurant goers. While it is true that smoking cigarettes and breathing them in causes many health problems, is it fair to of take the freedom those Americans who want to smoke and enjoy their meal?

This topic is very debatable and in many cases has reached compromises, but I would stand by the argument that smoking should be banned from all public areas because the unfiltered smoke is getting into the lungs of bystanders who do not smoke, and causing some major health problems, and in many cases death. The governments must ban the sales of tobacco products. There are many consequences to smoking like health, addiction, cessation and economic costs. Second hand smoke is a major problem, since smoking is allowed in a lot of public places.

Second hand smoke has fifty cancer causing chemicals which are inhaled by non-smokers. Second hand tobacco smoke is also called Environment Tobacco Smoke (ETS). ETS is made up of smoke that comes from the end of a cigarette, pipe or cigar called side stream smoke. People that are constantly exposed to ETS are at increasing risk for developing health problem related to it. Thirty-three percent of Canadian children under the age of twelve are regularly inhaling ETS. Since children breathe faster than adults they take in more air, and if there is ETS in the air, the children can develop a lot of health problems.

ETS can cause problems like bronchitis, pneumonia, middle ear disease and asthma. In the family car many children are exposed to ETS. In a 1995 survey it is found that over half of the smokers, smoke in the car when children are present. Each year in Canada about 3300 people die from heart disease caused by ETS. And this is only second hand smoke. As for smokers themselves, their at higher risk to their health. Smoking causes cancers to the oesophagus, lungs, voice box, throat and mouth and helps develop cancers of the bladder, pancreas, cervix and kidneys.

It also causes cardiovascular disease like heart disease, stroke and diseases of the blood vessels. Lung cancer was the first cancer to be linked to smoking and is the number one cause of cancer deaths of people, worldwide. Eighty to ninety percent of all lung cancer is smoking related, but lung cancer is not the only smoking related cancer, there are eight other cancers linked to smoking. There are over 16,000 cancer deaths in Canada each year, and is caused by smoking. Also smoking causes pulmonary and respiratory diseases. Over 8,000 people die each year from respiratory diseases caused by smoking.

And it also causes a lot of other diseases that permanently damage the lungs and airways by smokers. Other than cancer, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, smoking can cause a lot of health problems like ulcers and bowel disorders (Cohn’s Disease), osteoporosis (decreased bone density), thyroid disease and increased severity of rheumatoid arthritis. Smoking also causes other health problems like cataracts, menstrual disorders, sleep problems, tooth and gum damage and increased injuries. About three million people die from smoking-related diseases, worldwide, each year.

In Canada about 45,000 people die each year from smoking and about 3,400 of them are Albertans. Researchers estimate that on average, smokers lose about fifteen years of their lives. The smokers that die before 70 lose an average of 22 years, and the ones that die after 70 lose an average of 8 years. One in four deaths are caused by tobacco in developed countries, one in eight deaths in developing countries, and one in six deaths worldwide. And also researchers say that within thirty to forty tears the global death rate will rise to ten million per year.

Smoking should be banned off the shelves of stores so the death rate would go down. In conclusion, if the government would ban the sales of tobacco products the health system wouldn’t have to spend so much money on cancer or smoking related health problems. They would save over one billion dollars per year. And the death rate would decrease if smoking was banned. About 33 to 50% of people who try smoking become regular smokers and 70% to 90% of people who are regular smokers are addicted to nicotine.

It is as addictive as heroin and cocaine. So once children try it out when they see other people doing it the most likely would become addicted. Smoking kills more people than HIV/AIDS, traffic accidents, murder, suicide and drug use combined. But smoking should definitely be banned from public places since second hand smoke cause’s health problems as well. So smoking should be banned because it causes so many problems to health whether it is to the smoker or to the second hand smoke.

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