Let’s put a stop to public smoking

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Have you ever been walking on campus minding your own business and suddenly, out of nowhere, you get a big whiff of cancerous smoke in your face?

This is certainly not a good feeling, but due to people’s rights, there is not much one can do besides dodge the smoke or cover up their face.  What about the rights of the nonsmoker?  Why are they forced to grin and bear it?

The line has to be drawn somewhere and the solution is simple: end public smoking.  Personally I think that if people want to shorten their lives and smell like ashtrays, they should do it in their own homes, not in public places where it could affect others. Shouldn’t we consider the innocent babies who can’t escape the wrath of second-hand smoke?  What about people with asthma or emphysema who can barely breathe, should they be forced to endure someone’s lingering smoke?  I guess the answer is yes, because

it is perfectly legal anywhere to smoke outside in public places.In about 14 states they have decided to cut nonsmokers a little slack. These states have passed what are considered Comprehensive Smoke-Free Workplace laws, which include restaurants and bars.  It is a far cry from being absolutely smoke-free but hey, it’s a good start. 

I believe everyone can relate to being in a club or bar having the time of their life until they nearly choke to death from someone’s cigarette smoke. Yuck! No offence to the smokers, but I’m sure every nonsmoker is extremely tired of smelling like smoke when they never actually smoked anything. 

That nasty scent seems to linger forever when the smell gets into your clothes and hair, and that’s only a minute concern. There are many health risks associated with smoking and I think a person should definitely be in control of whether they want to inflict lung cancer on themselves or not. 

“Separate smoking sections don’t cut it. Only smoke-free buildings and public places truly protect nonsmokers from the hazards of breathing in other people’s tobacco smoke,” says a surgeon general’s report released June 27, 2006.

Surgeon General Richard Carmona said, “Exposure to secondhand smoke remains an alarming public health hazard; nonsmokers need protection through the restriction of smoking in public places and workplaces.”

Since 14 states have implemented this law against smoking in workplaces and bars, obviously they recognize the risk, so why not end public smoking altogether?

I know it’s a little drastic to implement laws confining smokers to their homes, but maybe they should make smoking laws more strict.  For instance the law should restrict smoking outside of public places but not someone standing in front of their home.  

People should have a choice in this matter; public smoking takes away the rights of nonsmokers.

They are made into involuntary smokers, exposed to lung cancer whether they like it or not, and that is simply not fair.

  • Anndrea Rouse