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Smoking Prohibition Essay

1490 words - 6 pages

“…..Nearly half the adult population regularly performs a bizarre act which is necessary neither for the maintenance of life nor for the satisfaction of social, sexual, cultural, or spiritual needs; an act which is acknowledged, even by its adherents, to be harmful to health and even distasteful” (Aston and Stepney 1982: VII). Regarding the above statement a vast majority of anti-smoking campaigners believe that the restriction on smoking in public locations should be increased and effective actions should be taken by governments in order to reduce the consumption of tobacco. On the other hand, addicted smokers consider smoking prohibition as interference in their civil freedom. Though they argue that they have the right to smoke whenever and wherever they want; governments consider passive smoking’s threats as a major priority to deal with. This essay will discuss the policies taken by governments to decrease or even stop smoking among the public. Moreover, it will present smoker’s arguments regarding their right to smoke in public places.

Passive smoking also known as second hand smoking is one of the major reasons of smoking restrictions in public places. It can be defined as inhalation of someone else’s smoke implicitly. It occurs when smoke infuses in the air, making people around to breathe it indirectly. The first global study into the effects of passive smoking was carried out by world health organization (WHO) in 2004 among 192 countries. The study found that, passive smoking kills around 600,000 humans worldwide every year, in which more than 34% are children and decreases the life expectancy by 10 years. The study concluded that passive smoking is responsible for majority of heart diseases, asthma, respiratory illness, and lung cancer. The study reflects to us the factual hazards of smoking, causing casualties and human losses. Based on the above findings and facts governments have introduced some plans to reduce the risks of tobacco. The first step was to raise taxes on tobacco in order to reduce its usage. Currently tobacco has the highest proportion of tax in the world especially in western countries compared to the remaining items. Unfortunately, it did not make the smokers to give up this nasty habit. Addicted smokers prefer to have a cigarette rather than having food. Putting financial pressure on smokers did not change their mind to quit smoking. Meanwhile governments tried to put psychological pressure on smokers to make them to leave out smoking, by introducing laws such as, ban on smoking in public places. This law was quite successful and made lots of smokers to leave smoking. As a result of this law the quota of male smokers dropped from 80% to just over 28% during the past 60 years, but the percentage of female smokers steadied constant with minor fluctuations. This strategy is generally accepted as a main factor in decreasing the percentage of smokers, for example, if one finds it difficult to smoke in restaurants,...

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