Historically, smoking is a practice that has existed for a long time. Ever since pre-rolled cigarettes were first introduced in the early 1900s, “the number of cigarettes smoked around the world has risen each year. Today, it is estimated that over 15 billion cigarettes are smoked every day” (Mason 13).
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The shocking thing is that even though the number of cigarettes smoked in some countries is falling, overall consumption continues to extend. This has been attributed to two main reasons. These reasons are, first, “selling more cigarettes in poor countries has been on the increase. Secondly, the expanding world population has contributed to this increase” (Mason 16).
Smoking in the United States of America has been under scrutiny, for instance, studies revealed that smoking was still a male preserve from 1965 to 1993 (Haustein and Groneberg 60). In addition, “smoking prevalence was highest among the people who were living below the poverty line, blue collar workers, single or divorced people and military personnel” (Haustein and Groneberg 73). Historically, tobacco is a plant that thrived in Louisiana.
This plant thrives in this state where it is used to be cultivated on large scale. Farmers use to thrive on this plant when they can collect revenue of it (Billings 279). Dr. Alston Ochsner, a famed medical doctor and researcher, carried out studies which led him to conclude that smoking was associated to cancer. From his findings, he concluded, “Only four percent of lung cancer is not linked to smoking thus it was preventable cancer” (Pyle 9).
These findings were instrumental in the formulation of policies which were against smoking in Louisiana. Currently, the state of Louisiana is smoke free in the public places. This law came into control on January 1, 2007 as a consequence of massive lobbying by the antismoking arm of the state residents and organizations. Essentially, this law ensures that the local government has the ability to supervise and expand the smoke free zones. This is aimed at protecting the non-smoking people within the state.
According to the state, this is viewed as a major step in the direction of public health. Despite all these advancements, there is another side of the coin. This has been characterized by the fact that businesses are coming out stating that their companies have had negative implications with regard to this ban. For instance, there has been a report that the number of sales reduced in some of the businesses. Notwithstanding this fact, many countries have joined the list to ban smoking in public places.
The bans which have been effected in these countries have either been partial or complete depending on the legislation of these particular countries. Some of the countries which have been affected by these bans are Albania, Argentina, United Kingdom, Australia, Denmark, Brazil and Austria. In these countries, regulations have been enforced to ensure that there are restricted areas where smoking can be tolerated, such as entertainment spots, and there are areas where it is illegal.
There are many reasons as to why the ban for smoking has been upheld. Some of them have been associated with health reasons. Nicotine is a component which is found in tobacco. Nicotine has a high affinity for being absorbed into the blood, especially when it is smoked. This is because it enters the lungs and is absorbed into the blood stream with a high degree of frequency. When person smokes, nicotine enters the brain rapidly.
This is characterized with the peaking levels which take place within 10m seconds of inhaling the drug. Cigarette smokers not only tend to die at an earlier age, but also have a higher probability of developing certain diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and broncho-pulmonary disease, than the non-smokers.
Smoking does not just affect only the smoker, it also affects the person who does not smoke. These are people who are exposed to the smoke which comes off the end of the cigarette that the smoker has not inhaled. This smoke joins the environment and is inhaled by the secondary party from there. Thus, it is important to note that secondary persons get to smoke through two main ways.
First, it is smoke which is usually not filtered from a cigarette’s burning end and secondly, it is smoke which is exhaled from the smoker himself. The secondary smoke is dangerous to the people who are found within the environment of the persons who are concerned. This is because these people are usually exposed to the risks of the smoke just like the smoker, some of the diseases which they are exposed to include lung disease, emphysema, and heart diseases.
This smoke is especially harmful to the children because children’s systems tolerate smoke at a more complex level than the adults. Coworkers are also exposed to the risk. It is not the doctors who oppose smoking, businesses have also been on record with regard to supporting the ban. This is because the risks associated with smoking. For instance, the advocates of the antismoking express concern over the health of their employees who are smokers. This is due to the health concerns which are or have been concerned with smoking.
For instance, the smokers are likely to have high health care costs owing to their harmful habits. In addition to this, there is a negative implication to the non-smokers who work with or seek the services of the businessmen. Furthermore, some businesses hold the opinion, “creating a smoke free work place is the easiest policy to adopt, as well as the least expensive and the most health conscious” (Bray 289). This is in line with the following benefits which are associated with the smoking ban.
Bray states that “A smoking ban will best support the wellness program of goals of helping the employees quit smoking and protecting nonsmokers from harmful effects of secondhand smoke” (291). There is a consensus among those who support antismoking that the campaigns which have been staged by the pro smoking brigade have been exaggerated. This has led to studies which have revealed that numerous health care campaigns have had devastating psychological effects on the people who have been smoking.
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In addition to this, more studies suggest that on the issue of heart disease risk, the non-smoker’s risk of getting that disease is quite low as compared to that which was purported initially. Some scientific reports conclude that the risk associated with smoking in regard to the non smokers was too small to support the smoking ban. This ban has major implications on the business premises and the business owners. This is because empirical evidence suggests that due to the ban, to support smoking has become costlier than before.
This is because it has resulted into most businesses being forced to come up with services cater for the irritated customers owing to the anti-smoking regulations as well as having to take care of the employees who may be non smokers who are working in a smoking environment. It is also worth noting that the issue of smoking or not smoking is an individual issue which protects the constitutional right of the smoker.
This implies that when the government imposes the non smoking campaigns, it denies other people’s rights to make decisions which is not in line with the constitution. This has had a major issue with the effect on businesses where some smokers or non smokers have kept away due to the policies either of the business supports. It is worth noting that this debate is not about to end.
This implies that there are people who will still favor the smoking habits, and there are those who will be of the idea that smoking is not as it is purported to be tainted. Furthermore, the issue of constitutional rights also needs to be put into perspective due to the fact that it has been argued that the smoking ban imposes decisions on citizens who have the ability to make their own choices.
It is important to look at this matter from both sides of the coin. What are the precise implications of this ban on both the smokers and the non smokers? Studies should ensure that they remain as impartial as impossible to ensure that the directions which are taken with the policy formulators are in the right perspective. On evaluating closely the subject of the constitution, the United States of America constitution grants individual rights.
Some of them, such as freedom of speech, religion, assembly and the right to bear arms are explicit in the document. Others have been inferred by the United States court, such as the right to privacy and bodily integrity. Thus, to arrive at a conclusion on which side to support, “it follows both the scientific conclusions should be impartial as well as the right interpretation of the constitution” (Riegelman 69).
Even as this ban is gradually gaining momentum and being embraced holistically across the globe, it is important to establish measures to ensure that it does not have negative effects on the smokers. It is therefore necessary to ensure that support groups and health services centers are assisting people who might be having smoking problems. So, the fight against smoking will be won gradually.
Billings, E. R. Tobacco: Its History, Varieties, Culture, Manufacture and Commerce. Middlesex: Echo Library, 2008. Print.
Bray, Ilona M. Healthy Employees, Healthy Business: Easy, Affordable Ways to Promote Workplace Wellness. California: Nolo, 2009. Print.
Haustein, Knut-Olaf and David Groneberg. Tobacco Or Health?: Physiological and Social Damages Caused by Tobacco Smoking. New York: Springer, 2009. Print.
Mason, Paul. Know the Facts about Drinking and Smoking. New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, 2009. Print.
Pyle, Dr. Hugh F. How to Quit Smoking Without Pills, Pain Or Panic. Tennessee: Sword of the Lord Publishers, 2000. Print.
Riegelman, Richard K. Public Health 101: Healthy People–Healthy Populations. Sadbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2009. Print.