Is Smoking Everyone’s Personal Business?

We all have freedom of choice but this freedom comes with some corresponding duties to refrain from causing harm or injuries to others. There are several areas where common sense shows that common good outweigh any freedom of choice individuals have and smoking is one of such choices. It is no longer news that there are many people who regard smoking as one of the unhealthy choices people make. Again we might not be able to appreciate the seriousness of the effects of smoking unless we have been directly affected by passive smoking caused by those who smoke in public. Some individuals especially the asthmatic have had bad attacks due to the activities of those who do not care to smoke in public places. Therefore, we could simply say that smoking is no longer everyone’s personal business.

The Facts of the Matter

The facts that may find general acceptance with both smokers and non-smokers alike are that smoking is one of the health hazards in our societies and that governments have the responsibility to protect the public from destructive or harmful societal activities which include smokes from those who smoke in public places. Also, just as smokers have the right to smoke, non-smokers also have the right not to smoke which includes passive smoking as it is not anyone’s right to impose their habits on others. It is also a fact that according to available reports, there is a 30 percent reduction in lung cancer related diseases in California since the rule that placed a ban on smoking in public places began to be enforced in the state.

The Arguments

It is argued that there are other forms of unhealthy air pollution that are equally as dangerous as passive smoking. So, those who defend the choice to smoke anywhere including public places claim that industrial and vehicular pollutions should also be given similar ban as smoking in public places. They say that it won’t be fair to use separate standards in dealing with the issue of passive smoking other forms of pollution inflict effect. But we all know that it is not rational to equate smokes from cigarette smoking and the emissions from cars in motion due to the fact that smoking is a voluntary pastime whereas there is absolute necessity for the use of gas-emission engines to keep the society’s economic system running.

Government Actions Regarding Smoking

In an attempt to combat the harmful habit of smoking on both smokers and the non-smokers alike, there have been strong suggestions for provisions to be made in public places and pubs for smoking and non-smoking areas. A good example is in Australia where smoking had been effectively banned in restaurants, bars, shopping malls and other public places. Also, anti-public area smoking regulations are enforced in California and are reported to have been a very effective policy in the fight against smoking. In fact, report says the number of smokers In California has decreased considerably since the rule began to be enforced.


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