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Smoking in Public



Example of Persuasive Essay on Smoking Introduction

The fight against drugs and substances that affect health negatively has received enviable support across the world. The war has been very strong in the United States where the Mexican drug barons and most recently the entourage of Africans into drug trafficking to American soil. A lot of resources have been spent in this war. The major illicit drugs which use have been on the rise include marijuana, cocaine, and heroin. Marijuana is, however, the most abused of these drugs and various campaigns have been launched to push for its legalization. The most recent was the Prop 19 which also failed.

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Undoubtedly, the battle on drug substances is a much complex undertaking in modern society. On average, the costs involved in apprehending illegal drug buyers along with sellers, followed by their prosecution and imprisonment are outrageously high. For example, marijuana is widely spread among young people. The legality has triggered many debates for several years. Now, the major concern is on its possible effects on human beings, not only in the short-term but also in the long-term. This paper will focus on the issue of banning smoking in public places, challenges, and achievements. It will also highlight the arguments for and against smoking in public places.

Smoking has been a major problem affecting adolescents. Many government agencies believe that there are at least 4,000 children who smoke their first cigarette each day with close to 1000 becoming frequent in other forms of drug abuse and some which will die from the habit (American Lung Association, 2010). In fact, two of the most widely abused drugs by teens are both tobacco and marijuana.

59% of Americans support a ban on smoking in all public places according to Gallup poll conducted some 10 years ago. In more than twenty-seven states, tough smoke-free laws have been passed. In New York City, a new law that prohibits smoking in any public place was passed, and a majority of Americans do not want to be near people who smoke but also do not want to push for an all-out ban on the behavior. 19% of Americans believe that smoking should be banned. This percentage has remained unchanged for the last six years.

Regardless of how well informed a teen is informed of the dangers of smoking, there appears to be someone who gives in to peer pressure and engages in smoking no matter the consequences. It appears as those that use drugs have what is commonly known as the domino effect, as abusing one drug eventually leads to more drug abuse which is more dangerous and addictive. This is mainly because of the tobacco use by teens it seems to serve as interference to other drugs which in turn allows teens to explore other drugs in a desire to obtain the euphoria which accompanies the use of such drugs. These adolescents wish to offset the hopelessness unusually found in low socioeconomic neighborhoods (Wilson, et al. 2005). One such drug is marijuana and its similarities to tobacco in that it is smoked and some studies have shown the two connected to each other in many ways.

Therefore, the battle between smokers and non-smokers will continue. The big question that should be answered therefore is, should smoking be banned in public places and what are the implications? Efforts to ban smoking in public, which poses great health risks to both smokers and non-smokers, could be challenged by resistance from businesses who profit from selling cigarettes, resistance from smokers and the problems associated with policing and ensuring that the public and businesses follow through with smoking mandates.

There exist health risks and implications of smoking in public, thus, the proposition that public smoking should be banned. Banning public smoking, however, is a challenging feat because it would meet resistance from various individuals and groups, and it requires strong, unwavering and consistent policing and implementation from authorities who are capable of changing and imposing mandates. Banning public smoking would be detrimental to businesses and bothersome to people who smoke, therefore, causing them to oppose laws against public smoking. Another challenge is the consistency in ensuring that laws banning smoking are followed, which will require a lot of time and great efforts from the authorities.

History

Ages ago, smoking was not banned since it was a social thing to do and even royals did smoke. Today many scientific researches on the dangers of smoking have been done regarding smoking and proven it dangerous. Those who inhale smoke have 2 hours of their life reduced every time they get into contact with the smoke. If regularly exposed to other people smoke, 16% of non-smokers have a high chance of getting lung cancer (WHO). Passive smoking has great damage to the health of non-smokers. In history, there exists one of the world's earliest smoking bans in the Caribbean. These are parts of historical efforts made to curb smoking in public places.

Today governments have tried to have smoking reduced by heavily taxing tobacco. They have done it through putting warnings on packets and waging advertising campaigns. Many countries have also joined by restricting areas in which people should smoke. Most of the bans are applied in enclosed places i.e. shops, offices, trains, etc. In America, New York City and California have affected a total ban on smoking. In Scotland, smoking has been banned in enclosed public places recently. In the year 2007, the UK banned smoking in public places and many countries followed their suit.

According to a survey carried out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in 2007, it was found out that 38.1% of the high school students had used cigarettes in their development, with 19.7% having used it in a period of one month prior this survey. It is such statistics, which substantiate the rampant use of cigarettes among teens. However, based on observation of the survey, this percentage is on the increase with the likelihood of these teens becoming addicts or being ushered into the hardcore drugs (Harrison, Fulkerson & Beebe, 1997).

There are huge amounts of money channeled to the hospitals to fight diseases caused by smoking. Smoking causes cancer, lung complications and hence disrupts the productivity of a person. Many lose jobs as a result since they do not manage to deal with it. There are so many problems that can be sorted out if the governments concerned provide a budgetary allocation to provide for people likely to lose their jobs in the event of banning companies that manufacture cigarettes and other harmful drug substances.

Problems that Need to Be Addressed with the Proposed Solution

Various business institutions would suffer losses if public smoking will be banned. Therefore, these businesses, mostly from the tobacco industry, resist public smoking bans for economic reasons. Establishments like bars and restaurants earn monetary gains from selling tobacco-based products as well as attract patrons who consume these products. “Owners of bars and restaurants have fought laws restricting smoking on their premises, fearing that they would lose the patronage of smokers” (Schneider, 2010, p. 20).

In addition, businesses in the tobacco industry resist public smoking bans because it will drive them out of business. Anti-smoking laws would essentially affect the frequency and percentage of consumption among smokers. Consequently, it would lead to decreased demands of the product and profit. “Tobacco is a major industry in the South, supporting jobs and providing profits for tobacco companies” (Schneider, 2010, p. 20).

On the labor and economic sale, decreased demand and profit would also lead to unemployment, affecting not only the performance of businesses but also the livelihood laborers in the tobacco industry. Due to the severe impact of anti-smoking laws, people in positions who could enact these laws would think twice. Sometimes, politicians choose not to support anti-smoking laws because of its impact on the economy. The issue could be addressed if politicians could find a mean to convince businesses to support their cause.

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Nowadays, businesses are required to implement Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in the workplace. CSR, which is an effort to ensure that a business protects the social interest, is even a standard that businesses should meet in order to ensure support from stakeholders. If politicians demand that supporting anti-smoking laws is a part of CSR practices (Banerjee, 2007), then businesses might choose to yield and support public smoking mandates.

Another issue that would pose as a problem in the implementation of mandates against public smoking is the need for consistent policing to ensure that individuals and businesses conform to laws. According to Rabin (2001), the problem with anti-smoking laws is that violations are mostly left unreported. In addition, the government does not have enough manpower to assign individuals who would control public spaces. To resolve this issue, the government should encourage people and businesses to practice self-policing and making them responsible and accountable for violations and the impact of public smoking. Moreover, the government could increase awareness by ensuring that society understands the detrimental outcomes of public smoking and urging them to report acts that violate anti-smoking laws (Rabin, 2001).

Aside from businesses, anti-smoking laws could also meet resistance from smokers themselves. Individuals who are addicted to the consumption of tobacco prefer to smoke whenever they please. When anti-smoking laws were passed in several states, many individuals claimed that prohibiting people from smoking in public areas was a threat to their personal freedom. Several campaigns have been launched including “paid advertisements supporting smokers’ rights, financing smokers’ groups, and lobbying for smokers’ rights legislation to ubiquitous campaigns celebrating the birth of the Constitution and Bill of Rights” (Brandt & Rozin, 1997, p. 350).

People who resist anti-smoking laws claim that such mandates are unconstitutional because they prohibit them from enjoying their freedom. In order to address this issue, key legislators suggest that anti-smoking campaigns should focus on smoking as a health issue in order to underscore the importance of the mandates to be passed. Moreover, legislators force anti-smoking laws bypassing other laws that would support it. For instance, New York representatives passed the New York City Indoor Air Act in 1990, which means that prohibiting smoking in public spaces is constitutional since the Act ensures that the air in indoor spaces is kept clean and free from smoke (Brandt & Rozin, 1997).

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Example of Persuasive Essay on Smoking Conclusion

It is also important to ensure that the rights of those who do not use the substance will be respected. The health risks and implications of smoking underscore the importance of the implementation of laws that prohibit public smoking. However, implementing such laws is challenging and prone to resistance from smokers and businesses. The major challenges surrounding the proposed solution include:

  • (a) resistance from businesses that profit from tobacco sales, which consequently pose threats to the economy;
  • (b) resistance from smokers regarding social issues such as freedom;
  • (c) the effort required to police public spaces and ensure that businesses and individuals follow the mandates.

These challenges could be resolved, however, by imposing that businesses follow the standards in CSR, implementing other laws that would support anti-smoking laws and focusing on public smoking as a health issue, and doubling efforts to police public spaces by involving the public.

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