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Smoking in Public Places

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As long as you don't live under a rock, it is common knowledge that smoking cigarettes is harmful to your health. It harms the smoker, and also endangers the lives of others around him, through passive smoking. Do we have this right to harm others, and ourselves by our negligent behavior? Definitely not, therefore, in all correctness smoking cigarettes in public places should be banned altogether. Cigarette smoking is a gift of modern times and has become fashionable in some circles nowadays. Many psychologists have done exhaustive statistical studies, to investigate why people smoke? Their results are certainly shocking. The reasons given by smokers indicate that it is habit forming, increases attentiveness, and helps in killing time and to be in fashion. These are but purely psychological reasons without any concrete benefit. On the other hand, detailed medical studies have established a direct linkage between Nicotine that is present in tobacco and the high incidence of Heart attack and Cancer in smokers and even passive smokers. These are terrible diseases and at times prove deadly. The fortunate few, who manage to survive its clutches through expensive surgery and medication, remain scarred for life. They ultimately have to quit smoking and have to adopt a very strict and somber lifestyle if they want to live. We thus have no moral right to smoke, for smoking exposes us and the guiltless public to the unpredictability of this plague. Someone rightly said, "You smoke we choke". Smoking in public places is also an intrusion on the fundamental right of our society, for it violates their right to live. Our protagonist may argue that banning smoking would violate the fundamental right of the individual. This is untrue, as no one has the right to endanger his own life, what to talk of others around him. It is this realization, which has made many advanced countries like USA and UK to ban smoking in a lot of public places, but not all of them. The immediate fallout of this has been, a sweeping fall in the incidence of cases of heart attack, which is reported to have reduced by 30 to 40 percent. The consequences of smoking are indeed very severe and therefore an immediate need to ban smoking in all public places. The public view should be built in this favor and if necessary, the lawmakers of the country should enact more laws, whereby smoking in all public places is effectively banned.

While it falls more into the annoyance category than the physical harm category, one can also make an argument about the odor of smoke. Especially in restaurants or bars that allow smoking, many customers find the presence of smoke annoying. That, on its own is not a tenable argument for an all-out public smoking ban. However, the fact that cigarette smoke tends to linger in one's clothing and hair means that smoke is different from, say, excessively loud talking or someone's unpleasant body odor. While annoying to most folks, the displeasure with these other things tends to fade quickly once the offending person's behavior is successfully left behind. However, in the case of cigarette smoke odor, the undesirable, palpable effects linger for some time after one has left the immediate area of the smoke.

No one can deny that cigarette butts account for millions of pieces of litter annually. In every city and in every state, smoking away from one's home and car accounts for a significant amount of litter that detracts from a location's aesthetic. Smokers could choose to dispose of their waste properly, but when they're outside, it would appear that most of them don't. Consider an attractive building whose immediate landscaping is littered with butts, or a tree-lined city street whose



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