The Big Debate: Should Cigarette Smoking Be Banned

smoke_yes_noIn the past seven or eight decades, numerous laws have been passed banning smoking in certain parts of the country. Each state has their own set of laws regarding smoking allowances. Some outlaw cigarette use completely in public spaces, whereas other allow for limited use in certain areas, such as bars or clubs.

The federal government has almost completely banned cigarettes from flights and television ads. There are getting to be fewer and fewer outlets left for smokers to feel included and to enjoy their habit. But is there still room for smokers in the public or anywhere for that matter? Let’s look at both sides of the debate.

The Case for Smoking

The main argument against a ban on smoking is that people should be allowed to do what they like, so long as they are not harming anyone. Further bans, and even many of the current ones, make many smokers feel like their rights are being violated and like they cannot have freedom to do as they please.

Many smokers believe that they are being unjustly restricted and that their habit is one that should be their concern and not the government’s.

They may point to past decades when smoking was less restricted and public health seemed to be much the same as it is now. They also point to the many freedoms allotted to them by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and believe that the freedom to smoke within their own property and in some public places should be allowed.

A ban totally outlawing cigarettes would cause anarchy, they say. They might bring up the prohibition and the large-scale havoc and crime it caused. They foresee a future that is comparable to the prohibition should such a law entirely outlawing cigarettes be passed.

The Case against Smoking

Those who oppose smoking and would like to see it outlawed completely cite public health concerns. They believe that it would do the public good to be rid of cigarettes and smoking once and for all. They dwell on surgeon general’s warnings and research that shows that inhaled and secondhand smoke are both dangerous,

They say that it is not just the smoker who is at risk, but also the people around that person. They concede that people should be allowed to do as they like, so long as it does not interfere with the safety and rights of those around them. Smoking, they say, infringes on the rights of those nearby to smokers. It puts them at risk without their consent and causes numerous health issues for smoker and secondhand smoker alike.

They point to study after study that shows conclusively that smoking causes cancer, emphysema, lung and throat disease, and various other kinds of health issues. They note also the effect smoking has on children, as it affects them more severely.

They accept that many will feel their rights are being violated by outlawing their favorite habit. But those who stand against smoking say that it is a small price to pay for greater public health and lower insurance rates for all.

There is some concern from those who support a ban that widespread crime would break out as a result of such a ruling. But they once again believe that the greater good would be served if such a law were passed.

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The Current State of Affairs

As it stands, smoking isn’t likely to go away for a while it has been a part of public consumption for decades now, and in older forms, even longer than that. There is strong support for smoking as well as strong support for a law that would ban it completely.  There will be massive opposition either way, which is why the current state of affairs is something of a concession on both sides.

Smoking isn’t outright banned, but neither is it allowed everywhere. We are seeing many states ban smoking in their larger cities and more populated areas, and we will likely to see further rulings like these pop up every now and then. They don’t mean that an eventual ban is coming, but such a move could be threatened at some point or another. If that happens, there is likely to be a major uproar, and it is incredibly unlikely that such a law would be passed on its first attempt.

Instead, we are likely to continue to see small victories for both sides as politicians make concessions for their constituents and try to appease their voters.

48 Comments

  1. Smoking didn’t affect others, that’s why we had smoking and non smoking sections in most places, so others wouldn’t be bothered. Everyone has a habit or something that comforts them, and everyone is attacking and putting down smoking. Tobacco is what built this country!

  2. All forms of smoking tobacco should be banned and made illegal in the United States and be classified as a schedule 1 drug. The truth is that it’s killing our citizens and is driving up health care cost. This is a horrible substance and which our youth are exposed to, and who get addicted at an early age and become a lifelong addict. It’s time to make a real positive change for all Americans… It’s time to make it illegal and remove off the market for good!

  3. I believe smoking should be banned. I live in a row home that is surrounded by smokers. They smoke all day, every day. At times, I can smell the smoke in my home. When they are smoking heavily, I choke throughout the night. My infant daughter coughs continuously. It is not fair to me or my family that we must constantly have to deal with this. When I walk down the street, I can’t go anywhere in my neighborhood without smelling cigarette or marijuana smoke. It is ridiculous. Not to mention, at my old job there was 2 guys who sat next to me who smoked. The smoke lingered on them. I could smell it all day long. It was so bad some days that my eyes actually rolled back at how strongly they smelled of smoke. Whenever I walked into work, I would have to wade through all the smokers in the smoking section next to the door. It is a public nuisance and it effects the lives of those who have no direct contact more than society would like to point out. I am actually considering a Go Fund Me page to sue the city and my neighbors. If I lived in an affluent neighborhood, I would never have to deal with this. They should just pump cigarette smoke into the cigarette CEOs houses continually or have thousands of smokers go outside their house and smoke daily. Then something might be done to protect ordinary people.

    • I don’t believe so. Second hand smoking hasn’t actually killed anyone yet and the only reason why people are so scared of it is the media (what a surprise) causing more trouble than it should (what a surprise again media well done). You can’t just change someones habit because it frustrates you. It’s there body, not yours and it shouldn’t be the governments choice to say whether or not to make it illegal. Smokers are also ordinary people as a matter of fact and you can’t just sue them for smoking. Sometimes they are just so addicted and cannot help it.

      • i know smoking hasn’t killed anyone yet, but you know what? smoking doesn’t cause the death, it’s actually other health problem that was caused by smoking. like maybe a guy is an active smoker, that guy won’t die because of smoking but because throat cancer. And throat cancer is caused by smoking. So in my opinion smoking should be banned and also cigarettes should not be produced anymore.

    • I think it’s time for you to get a new home if it’s that bad I mean a smoking environment is bad for an infant that’s why my dad smoke outside when I was 1 until I was 3

    • so what you are saying is that smokers aren’t ordinary. I mean come on I get your mad but you can’t just go and trying and sue everyone in the city just because people are smoking I mean that’s a public nuisance.

      so instead you should try and find another place to live if you’re that mad about it.

  4. people if you are on this website and you smoke stop it you will die because that is what happened to my dads mom she died from smoking so stop smoking or you will die too. Smoking can also hurt the people that are around you. Like it was hurting John Brown and i, so STOP SMOKING NOW.

    • it is bad but you can’t force someone to quit. it’s the persons choice to smoke and it should stay that way. if we dont have control over our own bodies than what more control do we have?

    • you can’t just force that on people to stop and some one died in my family because of smoking but if they want to smoke let them

  5. well i got to smoke when i was little i loved to steal my grandfathers marbels and go out in the backyard under the porch. smoking was and still is my real moms life she choose smoking over me well i wish her good luck and i still try my hardest to get to any thing i can get to……

  6. They keep trying to ban opiates saying opiates are killing more people than heroin. But cigarettes are killing more people than opiates heroin Coke all combined

  7. OK so smoking is bad SURE but think: there are more people who die from diabeties than smoking. So should the goverment ban McDonalds and KFC and every fast food chain? No because it is we as the people’s choice to take care of our body, not the law. It is our choice whether we smoke or not and it should not be the goverments. And as well as that, countries that have banned smoking (such as Finland) have actually seen an increase in smokers. Why? Because banning it does not mean that it will be stopped, and may actually encourages certain groups of people to pick up smoking. So therefore, smoking should not be banned but just discouraged because it is our choice, our body and our life that we can take care of on our own and in no cases should involve the government.

    • i know, the government can’t just banned KFC and McD, but not all diabetes are from KFC or McD….. and it’s a different level of thing that law can change. and sure smoking is people own choices, but what if their choices caused other people death? smoking is really bad for our health, at least if you still want to smoke, go to a very far places from crowds or kids or even your own family, because those people who doesn’t smoke, has a higher chance to die than the people who smoke :v

  8. Smoking SHOULD be banned. The health issues it causes are so sever that it just isn’t worth it to have the temptation of deadly cigarettes around, am I right? It is bad for all communities, and restaurants. There are so many situations in which smoking effects more people than just the ones smoking themselves. It must be stopped, boycotted and banned for life. Hopefully enough of the old smokers will have enough respect not to break that law.

  9. “i think smoking should be banned because its affects other people not just them that smoke it i have smoked before and its not good.”

    • if someone wants to smoke and the are old enough let them it’s not harming anyone and I don’t smoke but my dad does and it doesn’t harm me at all.

      • it might not harm you now, but who knows the future? well at least your dad doesn’t smoke around you, bcz poeple who doesn’t smoke has a higher chances to have health problem than the one who smoke :v so I think smoking SHOULD be banned.

  10. yes but what if you are smoking in your own house and not effecting anyone. Im not a smoker but i think it should be up to the people that do it to have the respect to do it on there own time

  11. i agree, my mommy did it and she would get headaches and get all mad it was like she was a different person. but last week she marked 2 and a half years of not smoking.

  12. when you smoke you damage the environment,kids,adults,cats,dogs and any other pet you have. I used to live in a house of smokers most of them are in the hospital or already dead from smoking, yet those who still are alive are in critical condition or cancer. Even though smoking caused this they still smoke just as much as they can which is shortening their lives greatly.

  13. People have the right to enjoy what they like no matter how bad it is for them, I don’t see a ban alcohol website even though it can be both detrimental for a family as well as the individual.

  14. Smoking is bad. I look for papers like this, to remind people why you shouldnt smoke. It can harm people around you. And yourself. It can harm your family. You can die.

  15. i use to smoke since i was in the army for or and i quit 3, years ago cold turkey just like that,i never touch it again , i said to my self i dont need them anymore , i hate the smell of it .if someone next to my place smoking i get very mad . i think it should be banned . I was smoking for 40 years and if i did everyone can do it ! everytime need it one i was say to my self i dont smoke anymore and i dont really need it.

  16. I live in a neighborhood of smokers and whenever I am biking around i can smell the smoke from regular and weed whenever I walk by my house I can smell the disgusting smell and it bothers me so much whenever I see my kids playing with there friends there parents are at it smoking it needs to stop seriously.

  17. I was a heavy smoker for years.
    I quit more than 35 years ago.
    I would favor a nationwide public ban with very strict penalties.
    The sale would not be banned but only with a federal license, and would be banned for sale in Dr stores anyplace a minor would be.
    This would include autos.
    Dropped cigarettes cause more accidents than people texting in many states texting is a big fine.
    Why not smoking?
    The simple way would be classified Tobacco as a controlled substance have to have RX to buy from a state-run dispensary.

  18. If Joe and Suzy Blow want to allow smoking in their restaurant it’s their business. Not mine. Not the government’s. If I don’t like it I just don’t go into that business. Problem solved. See how simple that is, you whiny cry babies? I don’t like second hand smoke either and even before the smoking bans came into affect I could find a smoke free business to have my lunch.

    I like freedom more than I do the government meddling into my own or someone else’s business. Freedom is wonderful but there is something that we must accept and deal with as we have more freedom and that is personal responsibility. If you don’t like the atmosphere in a particular business it’s your responsibility to find one to your liking. It’s not up to the government nor the business owner to change it for you. Unfortunately there is an ever-increasing number of Americans who want less and less personal responsibility.

    If smoking should be banned then alcohol should be banned. Second hand drinking (SHD) is fare more dangerous than smoking. You may be thinking how can that be? There’s no such thing as SHD. Well anyone who’s been hurt or killed by a drunk driver is a victim of SHD. Any woman who’s been beat up by her drunk bf or husband is a victim of SHD. SHD is far more dangerous than SHS. Which is more of a threat to your safety? A smoky bar in which you can just leave or a drunk driver heading to the same intersection that you are?

    Another thing that amazes me is that many proponents of smoking bans support legalizing pot.

    • Yes I agree about how dangerous drinking is and how it should be illegal. And so should smoking. But did you think about the children like me being forced to breathe in smoke at my divorced dads house?? I can’t leave since its HIS week! I am slowly dying here. And so is my young brother.

  19. I really hate smokers, it is really disgusting to see people smoke especially in public places. Unfortunately those who are making profit encourage the use of tobacco and young people get into it passively.
    You don’t just harm yourself you are destroying many other things when you smoke . You know that it is bad but you keep on doing it, fuck you!. It is a f.. habit that is more a sign of stupidity than of a high social class. In Iran you cannot find many smokers but in Armenia, Georgia, Turkey and other countries with a Mafia you see everyone smoking a dicky cig.
    You are damaging your body and harming all the living creatures around you when you smoke, that affects children even more severely. Is that what makes you happy? Addiction, cancer and health problems?
    I am so sick of smokers that I just wish a quick death for them all.

  20. I agree. Smoking should definitely be illegal. Of pregnant moms smoke, their baby could have permanent issues. My mom smoked before I was was born, then she found out she was pregnant and stopped. My dad didn’t, he still smokes to this moment. My dad is a criminal and does not care about his family. If the smoker cared about anything, he could immediately stop. Like my mom did. Right now I am in my dads house filled with smoke. Its absolutely horrible. He always coughs,he has old man skin, and lots of other things. He has had to go to the hospital multiple times. And me, twice. In 11, I shouldn’t have to deal with this crap! People NEED TO PUT AN END TO SMOKING. it KILLS people! And puts a a permanent damage on kids like me and my brother! WE CAN PUT AND END TO SMOKING!!!!

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