Nationwide Smoking Ban: Smoking Should be Banned in All Public Places

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The effects of second-hand smoke have been well-known for decades; in fact, the Surgeon General warned the public about its dangers in 1972 (Schick & Glantz, 2005). Do people knowingly have the right to put others’ health at risk? No, they do not. Exposure to cigarette smoke is a public health risk. Therefore, smoking should be banned in all public places, nationwide. There has been no attempt to impose a national smoking ban by the U.S. government. All current bans are in place because of state and local legislation. Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights lists the various state and local smoking laws that have emerged since the 1980s, and the regulations vary greatly (2010). This is extremely confusing. Some states have strict smoking bans…show more content…
A parent wanting to take a child bowling or an asthmatic wishing to attend a professional hockey game would be out of luck in Missouri since those areas are not subject to public smoking bans. Lenient states like Missouri may be impeding national legislation for a federal smoking ban. These states may be scared of smoking bans because of the fears of local business owners. What they may not realize, though, is that a national smoking ban would eliminate many of these fears. Currently, the lack of a federal law means that states or regions wishing to impose bans have to worry about the impact on businesses. In 2007, Minnesota imposed a very strict state-wide smoking ban (Zdechlik, 2007).This is good, right? The problem is that the neighboring states did not have smoking bans at the time. Some bar owners feared that the bans would hurt their businesses (Erickson, n.d.). While any ban is better than none, a nation-wide ban is most effective for everyone. Another concern of local business owners is that patrons will simply stop going out in inclement or snowy weather if they have to smoke outside (Erickson, n.d.). Like most problems, however, it can be overcome with a little creativity and innovation. One bar manager stated that they planned on “building a patio and erecting a shelter to protect smokers from wind and rain” (Erickson,
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