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News Should smoking in all the public places (indoors and outdoors) be banned?

  1. Oct 31, 2012 #1
    In your opinion, should smoking in all the public places, including streets, parks and even rivers be banned? In my opinion, it should. Not only have smoking bans been proven to be highly effective in reducing the overall mortality rate and the incidence of various diseases (Source: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2012/10/29/smoking-bans-heart-attacks-strokes/1664193/), but they could also potentially prevent second-hand smoking, which causes close to 50,000 deaths per year (Source: http://articles.cnn.com/2011-05-23/us/new.york.smoking.ban_1_smoking-on-public-beaches-smoking-ban-secondhand-smoke?_s=PM:US [Broken]).

    Not only do I think that those who smoke should be protected from the negative effects of smoking, but I also think that those who don't smoke and yet are forced to suffer from the consequences of the second-hand smoking should be protected as well. I don't want to suffer an increased risk of various cancers, respiratory disease and heart disease because some people are far too selfish and individualistic.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 31, 2012 #2
    imo - no
    The dilution factor of the smoke in 'fresh' air makes it undetectable.
    No source for that other than years of experience with trace ( ppm ) gas detectors.
     
  4. Oct 31, 2012 #3
    My car and BBQ also "smoke". Should grilling in public places as well as driving be forbidden as well?
     
  5. Oct 31, 2012 #4

    Ryan_m_b

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    As someone who does smoke from time to time I have no problem with a smoking ban indoors for the reasons you list. However I don't see why smoking outdoors should be banned, how would not smoking in a park or on the street help anyone to any significant degree?
     
  6. Oct 31, 2012 #5
    I would have no issue with smoking being banned in all public places -- indoor and outdoor. Reduce the number of cigarette butts being tossed onto public property and reduce the amount of second-hand smoke nearby people are exposed to (however minute the quantity may already be).
     
  7. Oct 31, 2012 #6

    turbo

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    I haven't personally had any problem with cigarette smoke, even when putting in 3-4 hours each weekend day in smoky taverns playing music and hosting open-mic jams. It was the perfumes that brought that nice extra job to a screeching halt. Get ~$135 per afternoon hosting open-mic jams? That is fun stuff, and especially nice since it's something that I lived for.

    One of the regular propane truck drivers keeps telling my wife that he really appreciated me teaching him how to use barre chords to free him up from the root-chord position. That (barre chords) is an epiphany for a novice guitarist. I could still be pulling down those gigs, if not for the perfumes. Ironically, the heaviest smokers were the most likely to use strong, fruity, or floral perfumes.

    A fragrance-ban might have saved my weekend gigs, but tobacco was secondary. When I was in engineering school, I practically lived on caffeine and nicotine. I eventually smartened up and got more pro-active about my health.

    Upshot: I think it was a good thing for the state to ban smoking in enclosed public spaces, especially since children can be exposed in restaurants, taverns, and diners. Banning smoking in outdoor public places is more problematic. Who pays for enforcement, and how is the enforcement implemented? Would the taxpayers have to bear the cost of putting swarms of cops on the streets, handing out tickets to anyone who is caught smoking in a park?
     
  8. Oct 31, 2012 #7

    Ryan_m_b

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    I understand the point about butts but I don't see why that needs a ban more than harsher penalties for littering (and some enforcement) along with more bins with stub plates around. There's more gum all over the street than butts but we don't ban that.

    As for second hand smoke as has been pointed out there are far more noxious fumes in public places than smoking. Having a cigarette on the pavement isn't just minute it's negligible. Honestly how much second hand smoke does the average person breathe in when walking outdoors? Nothing that will ever cause harm I'd wager.

    I'm all for regulation when a group is doing something that leads to harm to others but when the harm is negligible to non-existent I don't think it's morally right to try and restrict that group's behaviour. Demonstrate to me with evidence that second hand smoke in open air public places is a significant health risk and I'll be willing to change my mind. Otherwise I'm firmly against regulating behaviour for the sake of it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012
  9. Oct 31, 2012 #8

    Pengwuino

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    On the contrary, BBQing quotas should be in place to force people to BBQ at least once a week outdoors where I can smell it.
     
  10. Oct 31, 2012 #9
    You can take my opinion with a grain of salt as I tend to favor anything that might deter people from smoking or reduce the visibility of the act of smoking in society. I'm not saying a public-space smoking ban is the best solution to any particular problem or that second-hand smoke in open outdoor areas is measurably harmful, I'm just saying I wouldn't oppose such a ban.

    Personally, I feel that the toll that smoking takes on your health, the additional healthcare costs (that we all bear) for treating smoking-related illnesses, the toll on the families of smokers who see their loved ones develop those diseases, and the perpetuation of the habit onto future generations are all unconscionable.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2012
  11. Oct 31, 2012 #10
  12. Oct 31, 2012 #11

    Ryan_m_b

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    Fair enough. We're mostly in agreement though personally if someone decides that they are willing to take the risk and become a full on smoker I don't think that anything should be done to force them otherwise (aside from tax, I don't mind taxing higher products and services that lead to increased healthcare costs).
     
  13. Oct 31, 2012 #12

    Averagesupernova

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    I just don't see the point of banning smoking in a park when sitting around a campfire while the moron who is burning plastic in his campfire is allowed to.
     
  14. Oct 31, 2012 #13
    I don't think the 'moron' is allowed to. I could be wrong.
    If you have a link to prove otherwise, I would be glad to see it.
     
  15. Oct 31, 2012 #14

    Ryan_m_b

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    I believe that's illegal (in the UK);
    http://www.environmental-protection.org.uk/neighbourhood-nuisance/garden-bonfires/#wa790
     
  16. Oct 31, 2012 #15
    There's a big difference between tobacco smoke and car or BBQ smoke.
    And usually cars and BBQs don't go to various public gatherings, etc., and stand just in front of them, to the extent that leaving high levels of smoke without leaving the outdoor public place is very problematic.

    Also, let's not forget that second hand smoking isn't the only harm of smoking. First hand smoking is the most harmful one. And bans have been proven to be highly effective in reducing the effects of both first hand and second hand smoking.
     
  17. Oct 31, 2012 #16

    D H

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    What are those costs that we all bear?

    Compare to alcoholics. Alcoholics cost society while they are of working age because alcoholics are much more likely to be unemployed than the typical member of society. Alcoholics who don't smoke cost society well past retirement age because their addiction is not quite as deadly as smoking. They collect old age benefits for quite some time before they die.

    Compare to clean living. Those who don't indulge in alcohol or tobacco tend to live well past retirement age. Throughout this retirement period, they collect social security benefits and get insurance through Medicare. Their grip on life is strong, even while they are slowly dying of old age. The last few years of their life is a very expensive proposition.

    Smokers pay insurance, social security taxes, income taxes, and cigarette taxes throughout their working age and then they die, right about at retirement age. They are not a big burden on social security and Medicare. Smokers are the optimal aged citizen from the perspective of the government. Social security and Medicare wouldn't be in near the bind they are in if everyone died at 65 the way smokers tend to do.
     
  18. Oct 31, 2012 #17

    Ryan_m_b

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    Just to chime in on this one, in the UK our binge drinking culture costs billions of pounds per year. That's not just in NHS costs in repairing people who have accidents and get in fights but also the cost of extra policing, damage to property etc. IMO this is a far bigger issue that needs tackling than smoking (not that I'm saying alcohol needs to be banned but a way to discourage binging would be good).
     
  19. Oct 31, 2012 #18

    Pythagorean

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    I smoked for ten years before quitting. Smoke and ash get into everything, it's horibly destructive indoors. Seedy bars probably don't care though; it's good for atmosphere. Heh.
     
  20. Oct 31, 2012 #19
    I didn't realize this thread was about alcohol use, nor did I realize that societal problems with alcohol make problems with smoking irrelevant. I have similar opinions about the burden that alcohol abuse has on society but didn't realize this was the place to discuss it.

    And I have heard the argument of smokers dying sooner and saving us money many times. It doesn't change my opinion that treating smoking-related illnesses ties up financial resources and productive time that could be spent on extending healthy life instead of trying to salvage someone's ruined health.
     
  21. Oct 31, 2012 #20

    George Jones

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    [personal rant]
    As a non-smoker who takes public transit to and from work every day, I really dislike people who smoke at bus stops. Where I live, the wind can be chillingly cold for six months of the year, so I particularly dislike people who smoke inside shelters at bus stops.
    [end personal rant]

    How widespread are smoking bans in bars in the U.S? Here in Canada, smoking in bars is banned country-wide
     
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