Stub It Out: The Case for Banning Smoking in Public Spaces

Smoking should be banned in all public places. Furthermore, anyone who ignores the ban should pay a heavy fine - this is my opinion and in this argumentative essay about smoking I am going to try to support my viewpoint. 

Given the question at hand, it is an issue that exists with the threat of public health which should and can be resolved, with countries such as Singapore and Japan being at the forefront of banning smoking in public areas. Cigarettes as a consumer product have existed for many years, with people using tobacco, its main ingredient, which contains the stimulant nicotine, to feel good and socialise. However, when it comes to cigarettes specifically, there are many other ingredients in its mixture, tar and several other chemicals which make for a supposedly better product but also makes it deadlier. There has been much research done over this subject for many years with lung cancer being the main lethal ailment being tied to the small stick. This is also a concern for the public’s health, as research done on the effects of second-hand smoking shows that it is worse than smoking directly from a cigarette as there is a small filter at the end of the cigarette to prevent too many of the toxic chemicals from entering the lungs.

There would be several issues when it comes to the banning of something, when it comes to cigarettes there is both a social and mental health element depending on the individuals that use them. Cigarettes have been a social tool for many years now with the activity providing opportunities for smokers to communicate and socialise with other smokers. This is especially true in the 21st century with the hustle and bustle of life nowadays, in major cities especially where people are rushing around continuously to go about their days. Cigarette breaks allow for the stressed to get a nice quiet break and a chance to get a breath of fresh air as they would typically smoke outdoors. This is a crucial issue that needs to be faced when trying to ban cigarette smoking as taking away the ability to smoke freely in a quiet outdoor space might have a severe impact on the mental health of these workers.

Another issue would be the policing of such a ban as it would be extremely difficult to police every public area to put a stop in cigarette smoking in these areas. In a large crowded public area, one cannot simply expect policemen to patrol the area 24/7 just to stop such incidents from happening. This would put a large and heavy burden on law enforcement as there will be a need for the expansion of manpower and it would be difficult to apprehend every single breach of the law. Not only that but there are also other more severe and maybe even heinous crimes for law enforcement to pay attention to and to have to juggle this as well could cause a collapse of law enforcement as a system.

Given all of this, it is particularly important to note that banning smoking in all public areas would be restricting the freedom of choice for smokers. With many debates nowadays over giving people the free choice to end their own lives through euthanasia, then the same argument would fit in with the idea of having the free choice to smoke as well. This could potentially lead to public discussions on the freedom that the government is permitting its people to have. 

10 October 2022
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