Imagine the scene; you’ve just come back from a great night out with your friends. Down to the local Chinese restaurant, then onto the happening pubs and clubs for some fun. You walk into your house and smell smoke. You didn’t leave a hob on, you didn’t leave on your hair straighteners, no, it’s you. Your clothes, your hair, all of you smelling of smoke as a result of all the people smoking in the places you have been. Is it time to put an end to smoking in public places?
Smoking in public places is an issue which has been being discussed. In whether it should be banned or not, for the past 5 years since the government proposed the ;Smoking kills’ white paper in 1998. I can see why smoking in public places should be banned and agree with this proposal. People who are not smokers and have chosen not to smoke are going out in public, and re having their basic right of choosing not to inhale smoke taken away from them. They are having to breathe other peoples smoke- causing passive smoking.
It is estimated that several hundred cases of lung cancer and several thousand cases of heart disease in non-smokers in the UK are caused by passive smoking. The situation is worse for people who work in places like bars and restaurants, as they have to work in the smoky environment with no choice and therefore will be more prone to the passive smoking effects. However, it can also be argued that in some public places, for example, in most restaurants people are able to choose whether they want to sit in a ‘smoking’ or ‘non-smoking’ section, so they are able to choose.
Also, it can be said that smoking is part of pub culture and it is necessary for smokers in the process of relaxing, during, or at the end of the day, whether going out or staying at home. They have a few drinks, chat to people and have a cigarette or two. Smokers see it as something to look forward to and to get away from stress, to relax and give them some sort of relief. Why is it that it is always the non-smoker that has to quietly get up and move when someone next to them lights up?
For years now, non-smokers have had to endure the unpleasant inhaling of stale cigarette smoke or coming home smelling like the inside of a dirty ashtray after being down to the pub or out for a meal with friends or family. In today’s society, it is the non-smokers responsibility to move away from the smoke and choose whether they can tolerate it. In my opinion everything comes with rights and responsibilities, in this case, the smoker should hold these, as it is them who have chosen the habit and should, therefore, be responsible for their actions and respect other people’s choice of freedom as well as their own.
For instance in a restaurant the smokers, should they feel the urge to have a cigarette, should be the ones to get up, move away and even go outside away from the non-smokers, as it is their own choice to damage their own health and not the health of others. On the contrary, it can be said that in most restaurants and cafes the choice now exists to sit in a non-smoking area where people who do not smoke can sit without worrying that smokers are nearby.
Smokers have the same rights and responsibilities as a non-smoker and occasional smokers and having the choice of where to sit in restaurants and cafes, give people an option and lets them make up their own mind. A complete ban would take away people’s right to decide things for themselves and it would basically be telling the public what to do. Let me give you an example of how non-smokers work, lets take smokers who work in an office block. They are designated a ‘smoking room’ for when they need a cigarette. Non-smokers would then complain that when the door to the smoking room is opened, there is smoke coming into the no-smoking area.
The management would then close the smoking room and the smokers would be forced to light up outside the building. Non-smokers would then complain that smokers are taking too long on their smoking breaks and that it makes the outside of the building look dirty and untidy. Smoking is then banned inside and outside the building and so it goes on. In addition, by making the smokers go outside, say they’re near a busy road, which is more often than not, who knows what the Carbon Monoxide and other junk churned out by cars and lorries are doing to them.
Should we ban cars because they are harmful to others? Of course not. People have the option to drive or not to drive and to move away from busy roads, and this exactly the same situation as smoking brings up. Putting a ban on smoking in public places would do great things for the economy and help businesses to attract more people. Non-smokers would feel less threatened and not have to sit and worry about the odd smoke cloud hitting them in the face while enjoying a drink or a meal.
They would no longer have to worry about their best suit stinking of cigarette smoke and it would encourage more people to go out and hence, would bring more money into the economy. Non-smokers would not have to stress about their health, with passive smoking and the risk of getting some sort of cancer. Smoky, stuffy atmospheres would be gone and fresh, clean air would be the pleasant replacement. More money in business means they’re can be more improvements to services and goods provided and consequently more customer satisfaction, with everyone being more happy.
It may also help smokers to quit because by making them go outside, it will make it seem like a chore and become annoying, so they will be more likely to quit so they don’t have to keep going outside. Of course, this is all very heavenly for the non-smokers but by banning smoking, things can swing the other way for the economy. By enforcing a complete ban on smoking in public areas such as pubs, restaurants or bars would deter many customers, as smokers would feel what is the point in them going out if they are not free to do what they want?
Most would probably prefer to stay at home with a take-away and smoke in peace. If they go out with family and friends for a meal, they would have to go outside for a smoke, which wouldn’t really make an enjoyable evenings experience. Fewer smokers would go out as they couldn’t smoke wherever they go and they wouldn’t really enjoy themselves as they would probably be craving for a cigarette for most of the night. About twelve million adults in Britain smoke, therefore, these people would not go out nearly as often, hence, reducing business profit and maybe even some going bust due to so much decrease in incoming money.
Take heed as to the information provided in this essay and take into account both the positive and negative arguments. Without question, I agree with this proposition as it would give a better standard of living for everyone concerned, which is the entire public and also increase the overall happiness and health of many people, smokers and non-smokers. Also, take note of this quote, ‘Having a smoking section in a restaurant is like having a peeing section in a swimming pool- it spreads.