As of 2002, more than 430,000 people every year die from use of tobacco- more than AIDS, alcohol, drugs, abuse, car accidents, murders, suicides, and fires COMBINED (“Cigarette Smoking” 2). Scary, isn't it? That even though cigarettes can cause that many deaths, people still smoke them? Cigarette smoking is a serious problem in the United States. Especially when it is done in public. Public smoking should be banned because it is a hazard to the people around.
Smoking comes with many problems. Not only for the smoker, but for the nonsmokers who are exposed to the smoke. In 1993, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classified second-hand smoke as a Group A carcinogen- the most dangerous category of carcinogens. About 600,000 people worldwide die from second-hand smoke every year (“Smoking” 3). More people die from second-hand smoke than from smoking the cigarette himself or herself. In a roundabout sort of way, the smokers who smoke in public are causing the death of other people. Isn't that illegal?
Second-hand smoke can also cause a variety of seriously, deadly aliments. Every year more than 3,000 deaths from lung cancer and 35,000-62,000 deaths from heart attack and respiratory tract infections are caused from breathing in second-hand smoke (“Cigarette Smoking” 2). Second-hand smoke only takes ten minutes to begin damaging the heart. Ten minutes isn't a lot of time for the amount of damage second-hand smoke can cause. In that ten minutes spent around smoke, the smell sinks into the fabric of clothes. The smell will then stay in the fabrics and other people will inhale it, including children.
Public smoking also affects children. “Reducing adult smoking may eliminate role models who lead children to light up” (Glaeser 2). Maybe if children didn't see adults smoking everywhere, they'd be less likely to smoke too. Every year, more than 3 million youths, 18 and under, begin smoking (“Cigarette Smoking” 2). More than 5 million children will die prematurely from the use of tobacco (“Cigarette Smoking” 2). That's a lot of children dying from smoking. That number doesn't include the small children who are hospitalized from being exposed to second-hand smoke. 150,000-300,000 children under 18 months get respiratory infections from second-hand smoke; 7,500-15,000 must be hospitalized (“Effects” 1). About 40% of all children who visit the emergency room for asthma attacks live with smokers, therefore are exposed to second-hand smoke (“Effects” 1). I do not have asthma, therefore I do not know what an asthma attack feels like. But if it's anything like a severe allergy attack, oh my gosh, those poor, poor children. Not being able to breathe is so scary. Constantly being around a smoker and having asthma can be life threatening. And very stressful. Always having to worry if the cigarette smoke will irritate the asthma. The stress isn't good for children.
1 pack of cigarettes in Indiana costs $4.82 (Boonn 1). That's a fair amount of money...