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Smoking Bans in US Research Paper

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Updated: May 7th, 2019

Smoking is a widespread habit that causes many diseases. The issue of whether to ban smoking indoors by the governments of various countries is popular as they try to take a step towards curbing the harmful effects of smoking. People support smoking bans because they understand the harmful effects.

Some governments have put in place partial smoking bans, and others have passed total smoking bans. This literature review will focus on the whether the United States government should pass a nationwide indoor smoking ban. The difference between partial and total smoking bans. Moreover, smoking at workplaces.

Wye, Bowman, Wiggers, Baker, Knight, Carr, et al (2010) says in Australia smoking is the leading cause of disease burden. The rate of smoking is very high among patients diagnosed with psychiatric disorders, and many of them succumb to smoking related illnesses than their counterparts without the disorders.

Total smoking ban is better than partial smoking ban because it protects non smokers from the effects of secondary smoke. The smokers find that they have to cut down the number of cigarettes they smoke in a day as long as they are in total ban smoking areas. The total smoking ban may encourage them to give up the habit.

Whereas, partial smoking ban may paint the picture that smoking is fine as long as one does so in a designated area. Yet, the harmful effects continue to undermine their health. For instance, in a mental health facility that practices total smoking ban treatments for nicotine dependence are high unlike in those that have partial bans.

For total smoking ban to be successful all the stakeholders in a health institution or in a country need to be included in the strategy. The inclusion of people in implementing the total smoking ban will lead to acceptance and compliance.

If the stakeholders are not included some will be hostile to the smoking ban, and it might not be successful. However, there is limitation in findings of prior researches on staffs’ view on the issue of total smoking bans in mental health institutions.

The attitude towards smoking in the workplace is mainly negative (Walsh Paul, Paras, Stacey, Tzelepis, et al, 2011). Studies show that many people prefer if employees did not smoke at their workplaces. Many workplaces have implemented a total smoking ban. Many employees are okay with the ban because they do not like their smoking colleagues exposing them to secondary smoke.

Moreover, employees waste time during working hours as they take a break to go. and smoke. The breaks affect their productivity hence they do not give their best to their employers.

Thus, there is a negative attitude towards workers smoking in their work places. Therefore, one will not see many people smoking at the workplaces openly because of the negative attitude, but will see them smoking outside for instance in parks, bus or rail stops, and home.

On the other hand, we have the partial smoking bans. Some governments have passed partial smoking bans to cut down on the cost of smoking both in social, and health terms. The introduction of the bans is not old and many countries such as the United States have taken a step to look into the effects of secondary smoke to people.

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention was given the responsibility of studying the effects of secondhand smoke. The findings showed that the number of people suffering from heart attacks decreased. However, there is still no concrete evidence to support that short time exposure to secondary smoke leads to an increase in suffering from cardiovascular diseases.

Secondhand smoke has been shown to cause problems to individuals around the smoker and hence partial bans do not protect the people in the same environment as the smoker. For instance, some hotels and bars have smoking areas, but people near those areas are still exposed to the harmful effects of the secondary smoke.

Some studies have been done to examine if partial smoking bans are effective than total smoking bans, and the pros and cons of each (Hofmann & Nell, 2012). However, there is no conclusive study about which type of ban is better, but the bottom line is that smoking bans improve the welfare of the society.

In conclusion, the United States government should pass a nationwide indoors smoking ban because the harmful effects of smoking cannot be underestimated. The number of people suffering from smoke related diseases is high thus an indoor smoking ban can help to reduce the numbers.

Moreover, many people seem to be in agreement that smoking indoors, and exposing the other people to secondary smoke is not good. Hence many would support the indoors smoking ban. The government needs to make a concerted effort to enforce laws against indoor smoking to protect its citizens from the negative effects of smoking, and ease the burden on the health sector.

More importantly, the government should bring all the stakeholders on board so that they can support the indoor smoking ban, and avoid law suits by those who feel that the ban may be infringing on their personal freedoms.

Besides, the population should be sensitized about the harmful effects of firsthand and secondhand smoke so that they can embrace the smoking bans and in the process deter those who are considering taking up the habit, and encourage those who smoke to quit.

Reference List

Hofmann, A., & Nell, M. (2012). Smoking bans and the secondhand smoking problem: An economic analysis. The European Journal Of Health Economics, 13(3), 227-236. doi:10.1007/s10198-011-0341-z

Walsh, R., Paul, C., Paras, L., Stacey, F., & Tzelepis, F. (2011). Workplace- related smoking in New South Wales: extent of bans, public attitudes and relationships with relapse. Health Promotion Journal of Australia, 22(2), 85- 90.

Wye, P., Bowman, J., Wiggers, J., Baker, A., Knight, J., Carr, V., &… Clancy, R. (2010). Total smoking bans in psychiatric inpatient services: a survey of perceived benefits, barriers and support among staff. BMC Public Health, 10372-382. doi: 10.1186/1471-2458-10-372

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