Date: 5/6/12 To: From: RE: Argumentative Essay Public Smoking Bans in the US Introduction: In the United States, for every eight smokers that die from tobacco use, one non-smoker dies as well (Clarke 2010). In recent years, a growing awareness of the deadly effects of smoking has led to the enactment of tobacco control policies throughout the industrialized world. Tobacco use is the leading cause of preventable death worldwide (Jones 2009) estimating that one billion people are expected to die during the 21st century as a result of tobacco-related disease”(Cole 2012).
Secondhand smoke (SHS) contains hundreds of toxic chemicals and is linked to cause cancer, coronary heart disease, and respiratory problems. Innocent individuals of all ages should not be impacted by the poor choices of smokers around them. After all, there is no risk-free level of exposure to someone else’s drifting smoke. The debate on smoking bans has rose significantly in the pass two decades. There are two types of bans, partial and full smoking bans. Full bans make it illegal to smoke in any public area.
Although smoking is seen to be a personal right to many Americans, smoking should be banned in all public places. As a result the ban will overall reduce health risks, change smoking behavior in workplaces and improve the economy. Reducing SHS, Health Benefits: First, enforcing a public smoking ban decreases exposure to second-hand smoke, reducing the many health risks associated with smoking. Levels of SHS are found to significantly drop in public smoking places following the implementation of public smoking bans.
Maria Lopez conducted a before and after study on the health of workplaces and hospitality venues from eight regions of Spain. Repeated samples of vapor-phase nicotine concentration were taken in 398 premises including private offices (162), public administration offices (90), university premises (43), bars and restaurants (79), and pubs (24). Second-hand smoke levels were significantly reduced in indoor offices. The median nicotine concentration decreased by 60. 0% in public premises and by 97. 4% in private workplaces. A major reduction (96. %) also occurred in bars and restaurants that became smoke-free (Lopez 2008). Second-hand smoke is associated with a 30% increase in risk of acute myocardial infarction (AMI). Further research is shown by David Myers, who performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the association between public smoking bans and risk for hospital admission for acute myocardial infraction (AMI). This meta-analysis of eleven studies in ten locations suggests that that community smoking bans are associated with an overall 17% reduction in risk of AMI over a two-year post ban analysis (Myers 2009). According to projections, a nationwide ban on public smoking could prevent as many as 152,000 heart attacks each year” (Jones 2009). In addition to Lopez and Myers, Giulia Cesaroni and Francesco Forastiere analyzed acute coronary events (out-of-hospital deaths and hospital admissions) between 2004 and 2009 from Rome city residents 35 to 74 years of age. They found a statistically significant reduction in acute coronary events in the adult population after the smoking ban. Results showed 11. 2% fewer acute coronary events in the 35- to 64-year-old population and 7. % fewer in 65- to 74-year-old) than in previous years (Cesaroni, Forastiere 2010). Smoking bans not only protect non-smokers from the dangers of passive smoking, they also encourage workers to quit or reduce their consumption. Behavior of Smokers: Smoking behavior particularly in hospitality venues would change from public smoking bans. Public smoking bans discourage active smoking by employees, making it difficult for them to find a legal place to smoke other then their home. Public smoking bans will cause more hostility towards smoking of as time goes on, thus putting pressure on smokers.
Because smokers are unable to smoke in public places, they will learn how to live without smoking a cigarette for long hours. Moreover, when a smoker does not see anybody around him smoking or smelling of cigarette, it might reduce his urge to smoke too. Many studies have indicated significant changes in smoking behavior after the implementation of a full public smoking ban. According to Caroline Fitchenberg, her 26 studies on the effects of smoke-free workplaces in the United States, Australia, Canada and Germany indicated a eduction in total cigarette consumption per employee by 29% with a reduction in absolute prevalence of 3. 8% (Fitchenberg, 2008). Totally smoke-free workplaces had about twice the effect on consumption and prevalence as policies that allowed smoking in some areas. In addition to Fitchenberg, Nadia Fathallah studied the smoking behavior of 607 nurses in the South of France three years after the implementation of a smoke-free workplace law. By analyzing a questionnaire three years after the ban, self-reported tobacco consumption decreased for 131 of 183 smokers.
Among the 131 nurses who decreased tobacco consumption, 63 reported that they had reduced consumption by half or more (Fathallah 2012). The results in these findings indicate that public smoking bans would decrease tobacco consumption in workplaces and increase workers desire to quit smoking. Tobacco-free workplace policies and decreasing the numbers of employees who model tobacco-use behavior will also reduce tobacco use initiation among employees and, in addition, may influence tobacco-use behavior in employee’s families.
However, it is argued that that smoking bans will increase smoking consumption in private settings such as vehicles and homes. Studies show that public smoking bans change the behavior of smokers in private settings, thus decreasing rates of current smokers and decreasing exposure to SHS in private settings. Alisa Naiman found that exposures in both vehicles and at home decreased following public smoking bans in Canada (Naiman 2011). Her results are consistent with the results of a survey in Scotland, which found no increase in SHS exposure among children after the implementation of a public smoking ban (Okhtar 2007).
In summary of these studies, public smoking bans have a great impact on the smoking behavior of workers and also show changes among smokers behavior in private settings. Therefore, implementation of public smoking bans should be enforced to change smoking behavior of current smokers in the workplace. Improve Economy: Finally, public smoking bans will improve the economy by reducing health care costs, increasing work productivity and saving many lives. Tobacco use is responsible for at least $96 billion per year in direct medical costs and an estimated $96. billion per year in lost productivity due to sickness and premature death (Campbell 2009). After analyzing data from the 13 states that don’t have a law banning smoking in public places, researchers concluded that more than 18,596 fewer hospitalizations for heart attack could be realized from a smoking ban in all 50 states after the first year of implementation, resulting in more than $92 million in savings in hospitals costs for caring for those patients (Jones 2009). In addition to reducing health costs, public smoking bans also increase work productivity.
Because smoking contributes to a variety of diseases among both smokers and non-smokers, it leads to absenteeism from work. Moreover, workers that smoke tend to take frequent smoking breaks, thus reducing the time put in their work. Together these effects incur the equivalent of $1 billion loss in productivity, accounting for 0. 36% of total gross domestic product in Taiwan. The time men and women spent taking smoking breaks amounted to nine days per year and six days per year, respectively, resulting in reduced output productivity losses of $733 million (Tsai 2008).
Consequentially, implementing public smoking bans will result in an increase of work productivity and healthy atmosphere thus improving the economy. Personal Right: The most controversial argument towards implementing public smoking bans is that smoking is that government is interfering with personal lifestyle and property rights. President Calvin Coolidge once said, “”Ultimately property rights and personal rights are the same thing. ” Property rights are often overlooked at the expense of what is perceived to be the “greater good. A true respect for property rights requires that business owners be free to make decisions on their own (Nothdurft 2008). The Constitution does not explicitly reference a right to smoke, so any claim to a right to smoke will fall under the auspices of another constitutional right (Crotty 2011). Majority of businesses and some have found it advantageous to offer smoke-free environments for their customers and employees (Hauri 2011). Introducing smoking bans makes pubs, bars and restaurants more attractive places bringing in customers and increases business, rather than decreasing it.
With the use of substances comes the responsibility to respect other people’s health. Banning smoking in public places is restoring the freedom of the majority the freedom to not inhale other people’s smoke; therefore government has the right to enforce a full smoking ban upon public places. Conclusion: Whether or not to enforce a public smoking ban is a frequently debated issue today. Even though a national public smoking ban seems to invade the personal rights of many, having the ability to significantly reduce health risks caused by smoking exceeds the importance of a smoker being allowed to smoke in public places.
Proven by research in other countries and certain states, public smoking bans result in numerous health benefits, changes in smoking behaviors in the workplace and improves the economy. Being aware of the consequences from being around smoking is crucial for all Americans. A national public smoking ban is not yet enforced, while certain states have applied a smoking ban, only few have a full public smoking ban. We must spread the word by sending letters to the legislative branch of the US government to voice our desire of public smoking bans.
Without public smoking bans, the trend of diseases and deaths caused by smoking will continue, resulting in millions of deaths each year. References: Clarke A. 2010, ‘Legislative smoking bans for reducing secondhand smoke exposure, smoking prevalence and tobacco consumption. ’ Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, Issue 4. Art. No. : CD005992. DOI: 10. 1002/14651858. CD005992. pub2. Cole, P. 2012, ‘Acute Myocardial Infarction Mortality Before and After State-wide Smoking Bans’, Journal Of Community Health, 37, 2, pp. 68-472. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 17 April 2012. Fitchenberg, C. (2007). Effect of smoke-free workplaces on smoking behaviour: systematic review. BMJ. 9 (5), 86-93. Fowkes, Stewart, (2008), Scottish smoke-free legislation and trends in smoking cessation. Addiction, 103: 1888–1895. Hauri, D. 2011, ‘Direct health costs of environmental tobacco smoke exposure and indirect health benefits due to smoking ban introduction’, European Journal Of Public Health, 21, 3, pp. 16-322, Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 6 May 2012. Jones, D. L. (2009). Circulation. Public Smoking Bans: Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics, 119(10), 480-486. Lightwood, J. (2009). Declines in Acute Myocardial Infarction After Smoke-Free Laws and Individual Risk Attributable to Secondhand Smoke . Circulation. 120 (10), 1373-1379. viewed 17 April 2012. Lopez, M, (2008). ‘Impact of the Spanish Smoking Law on Exposure to Secondhand Smoke in Offices and Hospitality Venues: Before-and-After Study. ’ Environ Health Perspect. 1, 3, pp. 344-347. viewed 17 April 2012. Meyers, D. 2009, ‘Cardiovascular Effect of Bans on Smoking in Public Places: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis’, Journal Of The American College Of Cardiology (JACC), 54, 14, pp. 1249-1255. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 17 April 2012. Naiman, A. 2011, ‘Is there an impact of public smoking bans on self-reported smoking status and exposure to secondhand smoke? ‘, BMC Public Health, 11, 1, pp. 146-154. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 17 April 2012.
Okhtar: Changes in child exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (CHETS) study after implementation of smoke-free legislation in Scotland: national cross sectional survey. BMJ 2007, 335:545. Siedler, T 2011, ‘One last puff? Public smoking bans and smoking behavior’, Journal Of Health Economics, 30, 3, pp. 591-601. Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 17 April 2012. Tsai, S. “Workplace smoking related absenteeism and productivity costs in Taiwan. ” Tobacco Control 14. 1 (2008): 33-37.