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Banning Smoking

Autor:   •  April 13, 2011  •  Essay  •  1,358 Words (6 Pages)  •  1,204 Views

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Banning Smoking

Smoking is a leading killer in the United States. Smokers have their rights and freedoms since it is a legal activity for individual's reaching the age of 18 years old. While medical studies support that smokers are putting their health at risk, it is newer findings that imply harm to innocent bystanders that makes it a controversial pastime. . The harmful side effects for those smoking and those who are exposed to the excess smoke makes smoking in public areas immoral. In other words, smoking does not only hurt the user, but it also affects others that are breathing in the excess smoke. Environmental tobacco smoke, ETS, or second hand smoke consumption has been linked to deaths ranging from such things as lung cancer to heart disease and infant death syndrome. This thought brings up the question, should it be acceptable to allow smoking in public areas? There are major health risks imposed on non-users. However, is banning this legal adult activity a violation of an individual's rights? Can banning this pastime in public places be constitutionally acceptable?

Second-hand smoke or ETS is very detrimental to those around it. It negatively affects smokers and nonsmokers. Numerous studies have shown that a "brief exposure to second-hand smoke leads to blood and blood vessels behaving similarly to what is observed in chronic smokers." (Glantz, 2635) If brief exposure yields harmful results in individuals, just imagine the consequences of more frequent exposure. Without ever putting a cigarette to their lips, exposed children can spend their lives fighting the health devastating results of second-hand smoke. For instance, children living around smokers have twice the number of respiratory disorders than children living in a smoke-free environment. In a home where both parents smoke, the children showed a 40 percent higher probability of having bronchitis, pneumonia, or bronchiolitis. (Braillon, Bewey, Dubois, 1565)

The life altering health hazards occurred in children regardless of whether the parents smoke in an inside or outside environment. United States researchers examined the affects that outdoor smoking has on children by recording their cotinine levels--a nicotine metabolite--to measure ETS exposure. The study showed that hair cotinine concentrations were similar whether the parent smoked indoors or outdoors. (Nelson, 358)

Non-consuming adults exposed to second hand smoke—also called second-hand smokers--are also prone to health problems. These individuals suffer ailments such as slow healing and excessive scarring of wounds. The cell changes in second-hand smokers interfere with processes involving cell production, migration and survival. (Wong, Miguel, Feugate, Yadav, Nothnagel, Martins-Green, 14) Medical research unquestionably reveals that the affects of second hand smoking is detrimental to an individual's

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