Homework Helper

My granddaughter has asked me to get opinions from the B&P readers out there.  She’s doing a research assignment and she chose the topic of smoking in public places. So, the question is:

Should smoking be banned in public places? 
Why do you feel the way you do and what do you feel about the topic in general?


80 thoughts on “Homework Helper”

  1. I’m a former smoker who quit 20 years ago. I think smoking should be banned in all public places except in designated areas (and of course banned in private establishments intended for public use). The basic problem with cigarettes is that it infringes upon the rights of others and forces your choice on me. If you can’t keep your smoke to yourself and keep it from entering my lungs, then you shouldn’t be allowed to do it–if I can smell it, I’m breathing it. Smokers do not have the right to put chemicals in my body against my will and that’s essentially what smokers do when they smoke near others.

    To bring this down to a completely juvenile level, should I be allowed to buy some canned fart spray and spray it near groups of smokers? “Oh, I’m sorry, you don’t like the smell of my fart spray? Go find another place to eat”. It doesn’t make sense that I’d be able to violate someone’s personal space like that, but cigarette smokers can.

    Anyway, enough ranting. Does anyone remember when there were smoking sections on domestic flights?

    • I just remembered I did a paper in a college English class on why they should ban smoking on flights. I got an A+, but who knows where that paper is. Sorry this was a pointless comment.

  2. Yes smoking should be banned in all public places, I don’t smoke and don’t see why I should have to breathe in others peoples smoke or have my hair and cloths smelling of smoke. I also hate going to the beach or for a picnic and finding the ground covered with butts and empty boxes. Smoking should be confined to the smoker’s home with filters fitted to the windows and doors to stop the pollutions from escaping.

  3. I’m a non-smoker in Philly, where public smoking is already banned. It makes the bars/restaurants a thousand times more comfortable for me but I still disagree with the ban. I just don’t understand how you can pass a law to ban people from doing something that is perfectly legal. Yes I agree that second hand smoke is bad and smells disgusting but I would be more interested in allowing bar/restaurant owners to have the right to choose if they want to allow smoking or not. Then patrons can choose to go there if they feel like tolerating the smoke. I wouldn’t choose to frequent those places that allow smoking but I do believe that smokers should be allowed to have establishments that cater to their needs too.

    • How can you ban something that is perfectly legal? Well, it isn’t banning it. It’s merely placing restrictions on where you can do it – similar to being allowed to drive your car on the road but you aren’t allowed to drive it on the footpath.

    • Having sex is also a legal activity, but I’m pretty sure it’s banned in all public places. Feel free to continue doing so in the privacy of your own home though.

  4. Smoke them if you want. But be respectful of those who don’t. i usually ask first. (and i usually end up outside with the rest of the losers!) So please don’t ban it outside! LOL

  5. I understand the argument that individuals get to make their own health choices, and as a former smoker I vividly remember how calming a cigarette can be. However, a lot of the people most at risk from secondhand smoke cannot “just leave” or choose not to go to a place where smoking is allowed. Children with asthma (diagnoses have been skyrocketing in the US) and elderly folks with compromised respiratory systems are the reason I’m for the ban. As a society we have both an ethical and a financial interest in protecting their health, especially since respiratory illnesses cause so much other damage (appetite suppression, difficulty with mobility/exercise, missed days of school/work). Plus, for some sensitive people it takes only a breath or two of smoke-tainted air before they start to have symptoms. That trumps any “right” I may have to smoke at the park. Hope this helps with the project!

  6. I can understand banning smoking IN dwellings because it’s a closed space and non-smokers suffer from the second hand smoke. On the other hand I DON’T agree that I should not be able to smoke outside in the most well ventilated place on the planet. I also don’t agree that non-smokers should make my decisions for me when they don’t understand the reasonspeople choose to smoke in the first place.

  7. i was kinda confused reading through all these, until i finally realized what was bugging me: you all think a private establishment – like a bar or a bowling alley – is a public place. a public place is a city street, or park, or government building. a private place is a restaurant, or a movie theater, or a roller rink. because the public is invited to patronize such establishments, does not make said establishments public, no matter how many times you call it “a public place.” it is a private place and is privately owned. now…

    if a movie theater owner wants to have his movie theater be “all-smoking, all the time,” well, gosh darn it, that should be his right. i’m not sure it’s the best business decision, but it’s his mistake to make. and, if i’m a non-smoker, hell, i’ll go somewhere else. take this maxim and apply generously to any situation.

    look, i’m a smoker. you non-smokers are right: smoke-filled rooms are gross. i don’t like them any more than you do. but, don’t i have the right to go into one, if i want?

    • It’s also a health concern. Should a mining company be able to operate any way they wish to without regard to the health of employees? Should a chemical company not provide the proper safety masks and gloves when dealing with chemicals? Should a bar be allowed to subject their employees to a known carcinogen that kills millions? Yes, they are private companies, but individual safeties still trump the owner’s right to run their business how they see fit.

      Why are YOU required to wear a seatbelt in your own car?

  8. I’m a non-smoker and smoking really disgusts me. However, I believe personal freedom is far more important. Smoking should not be banned outdoors in public places.

  9. Living in Texas here, my father is a long time smoker. I smoked at one point but have given it up. When I smoked I was always outside or alone in my car. In Arlington, it is banned to smoke indoors. I think smoking should be banned indoors (with the exception of “smoking area” restaurants and bars). Outdoors you should have to be a minimum feet away from the entrance to smoke so people don’t catch a wiff of the smoke as they walk by. I know my boyfriend’s eyes get really itchy and watery when he walks by cigarette smoke – I’m sure there’s others like that, too!

  10. I believe it should be banned or placed outside in public areas such as restaurants and bars, but that private clubs should have the right to make the decision for themselves. Then members have the right to choose to remain with the club or to withdraw membership. Many of the bars here have moved to patios for smoking areas, and even in a place that stays well below 0 for the winter, people don’t seem to mind having to step out for a smoke. I’m an ex smoker having smoked for a good 13 or so years, and even back when I smoked we were all careful to try and be respectful to others. If someone approached us nicely and asked us not to smoke in a certain area, we would be respectful in return. Those that approach with a holier then thou attitude and a long lecture most likely aren’t going to be listened to regardless of the subject.

  11. At one point I believe 23 of 24 major studies on the effects of second hand smoke showed no health risks. The most comprehensive, conducted by the World Health Organization, would have gone unnoticed if the London Telegraph hadn’t publicized it. The study that did find a link, done by the EPA, was so poorly done that is was vacated in a Federal court case.

    What it boils down to is smell. Just as I don’t enter shops that sell heavily perfumed soaps and other items because I find the smell nauseating, I also wouldn’t enter a restaurant or bar if I didn’t like the smell of smoke. A matter of choice….something no longer offered to the owners of restaurant/bars. Banning smoking outdoors is ridiculous.

  12. You can tell her to do research on this topic in Singapore. Currently, smoking in places like club, pubs, bus stops have been banned country-wide. Cafe’s and restaurants now had a quota for tables that are allowed to smoke, and they are designated a separate place also, away from the non smoking tables.

    These efforts have been implemented by the government in effort to decrease the number of smokers around. Also, prices of cigarettes have been jacked up crazy high and have doubled over the past 10 years. A regular pack of Marlboro now costs SGD$11.80 which converts to USD$8.50 a pack.

    Don’t know if what I said helps, but perhaps she can do some research on this and present her findings to support her conclusion. Cheers! =)

  13. Non-smoker here. I am against the ban in most places. Any outdoors location should be free game. Places like hospitals and daycare centers probably should be smoke free. However there was a study done by the World Health Organization (press release found here http://www.who.int/inf-pr-1998/en/pr98-29.html) showed that among non-smoking adults there is very little correlation between passive smoking and lung cancer.

  14. They will just do the same thing to you. Oh, criminals in this town used to believe in things. Honor. Respect. Look at you! What do you believe in, huh? WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE IN?

  15. In India smoking is already banned in public places since about a year ago. From a personal experience, it is now easier to stand at bus-stops for example 🙂

  16. Yes, I think smoking should be banned in all public places. I remember both mom and dad smoking on long trips with us kids in the back seat with the windows rolled up. I had to pull my t-shirt up over my nose just to breathe. I think the car even resembled the Cheech and Chong movies where they open the door and smoke boils out. That’s what kept me from smoking… Why would anyone want to intentionally take something that harmful into their bodies? If you smoke, why is it just tobacco(not mentioning the obvious alternative), why not lawn grass or tree leaves? After all, smoke is smoke right? These days my biggest peeve about smokers is they throw the butts all over the place – out the car windows, throw them down while outside, it’s disgusting. Anyways, enough of my rant. Jonco, I hope your granddaughter does well on her assignment.

  17. I say if they can figure out a way to get people to ban others from farting in public then you can ban cigarette smoking in public. To me I have smelt many a fart more offensive and probably harmful than ciogarette smoke… Oh by the way I am a non smoker.. Have A great weekend or what’s left of it…..

  18. Not only should smoking be banned in public places but should be banned in personal cars and in homes when there is a child present. In fact, any place where second hand smoke can affect anyone else. Smokers don’t really care about anyone else except themselves. But I always find it funny that cigarette smokers hate the smell of cigar smoke and then proceed to ban cigar smokers from their vicinity. Sad bunch of delusional, ego maniacs. Lucky that most of them tend to die of earlier than their non-smoking counter part. It’s just too bad that we spend all that money to keep them alive when we shouldn’t.

  19. Smoking tax revenue is used by Governments to finance things considered desirable. In UK, Smokers contribute disproportionately to the National Health Service by paying in additional taxes and dying earlier, helpfully not requiring the expensive treatments of very old age, nor state pensions over sixty years of age for very long.
    The issue is then one of why the state can push you around more – smoke here, not there – and I think the answer is that the smokers are addicted, like junkies, and will comply more readily with the degradation of being unfree. Indeed, it perversely increases the sense of being rebellious, in wishing not to quit, until a health event and enforced hospitalisation forces quitting upon the smoker.

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