According the Virginia Department of Health, one in every five deaths may be attributed to smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke (Smoking -Attributable Deaths in Virginia). The risk of inferior health caused by smoking in public establishments is truly intolerable. The banning of smoking in public places would benefit everybody and should be imposed everywhere because it would reduce the risk of health problems to non-smokers, reduce the number of smokers all together, and reduce the amount of valuable money tax payers spend on smoking related expenses.
Tobacco has been labeled a carcinogen by the CDC, WHO, and the IARC. The hazardous byproducts from one smoked cigarette can elevate the toxin levels in a room for hours (National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet). According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, smoking reduces blood circulation, causes coronary heart disease, and can cause 11 different types of cancer. The health risks of smoking are no secret to society, but tobacco has an addictive chemical, nicotine, that makes it extremely difficult to quit once started (Thank You for Smoking).
Banning smoking in public places could reduce the number of smokers at the present and discourage smoking in the future. According to the CDC, 68.8% of cigarette smokers would like to quit smoking (“Quitting Smoking Among Adults”). The new restrictions on smoking areas would cause such a disruption during daily and social activities that smokers would find it so inconvenient to smoke there would be overwhelming pressure to decease smoking or quit completely. For example, a man in New York City is a smoker. In 2003, New York City passed a ban that forbids smoking in virtually all public places from bars and restaurants to the workplace (Blau, Justine). The man works on the 70th floor of a sky scraper. If he wants to smoke he would have to take the time to go to ground level, smoke, and go back up to his office. Every time he wanted to smoke he would have to repeat the process. If he were to go out to a restaurant for dinner or the bar for the ball game, he could, but he’d have to leave the given establishment each time he wanted to smoke. This would cause such a disturbance in his daily functioning that he would inevitably decrease how often he smoked and possibly quit completely. Just the inconvenience of the ban alone could be the extra push needed for these people to extinguish the habit indefinitely.
The ban in New York City is a prime example of how successful the bans can be. An article from WebMD, “Helps Smoking Ban NYC Stop Smoking”, states that within four years of the law being passed there was nearly quarter million less smokers in the city alone, possibly saving nearly eighty thousand lives in the long term. It seems as though many New Yorkers have quit their tobacco burdened lives. The great success of motivating smokers to quit smoking is just one of many reasons the ban of smoking in public places should be...