Smoking in Public Places

Several countries have introduced laws that ban smoking in public places. It is now a common practice to ban smoking in public places such as workplaces, offices, cinemas, buses and trains. However, this trend is still not in practice in places like pubs and restaurants. Secondhand smoke is one of the major reasons for death due to various lung diseases. Children are the worst affected victims of public smoking. Secondhand smoke is an alarming public hazard thus non-smokers need protection through restriction of smoking in public places.

Why Ban Smoking in Public Places?

The issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology on September 29, 2009 revealed a lot of findings by researchers on the good and ill-effects of smoking in public places. Researchers have discovered that banning smoking in public places reduce the number of heart attacks amongst young individuals especially by about 26 percent every year.

Here are the reasons why smoking should be banned in public places-

  • People should not be forced to get exposed to carcinogenic substances for even for few minutes. Even those brief periods can cause irritability and annoyance.
  • Drifting tobacco smoke from smokers can cause heart attack and also asthma attack amongst non-smokers.
  • Tobacco smokers are exposed to a numerous health hazards and are likely to suffer from chronic conditions of asthma and bronchitis.
  •  People who do not have respiratory diseases can also be affected immensely due to smoking. People with respiratory diseases and coronary problems are at the highest risk.
  • Cigarette butts discarded by smokers make the majority of the litters in the public places like parks, playgrounds and sidewalks. Ban on smoking has significantly reduced the litter and also the cost of cleaning the beaches. Also, discarded cigarettes are harmful for birds and other wildlife that nibble on them or even swallow them.
  •  Large buildings have air intakes to replace the air which is released by their ventilation systems. Those air intakes are usually located near the doorways. Thus, to prevent the harmful smoke from entering and being circulated throughout the building where it can create a major health risk. Thus, it may be necessary then to ban smoking near those air intakes.
  • Discarded cigarettes continue to burn for several minutes when thrown and not puffed upon. Thus, it can be a factor for major fire hazard, attacking piers, wooden structures, boardwalks in parks and playgrounds.
  • Young children playing in the sand and on the beach might chance upon discarded butts and get tempted to pick them up which is extremely dangerous. This is because as it contains concentrated amounts of carcinogens and other poisonous chemicals trapped from tobacco smoke.

Other Reasons

There are several other findings that suggest that the ban on smoking in public places have brought about a good effect in the society. Here are a few of them-

  • There has been good evidence that banning smoking in cities like New York, Boston and do not economically hurt the cities.
  • Workplace smoking restrictions not only diminish the level of secondhand smoke and also discourage active smoking by employees.
  • There has been evidence that there might be a faint chance of breast cancer due to exposure to secondhand smoke.
  • Blood measurements of nicotine byproducts show that secondhand smoke levels have dropped by 75 percent in adults, 68 percent in children.

In order to gather public support for banning smoking in public places the California Department of Health Services advised:

  • Change should be incremental.
  • Focus should be on protecting the workers and not the customers.
  • Public education concerning the dangers of smoking must be the first step.


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