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Autor: anton • April 6, 2011 • 624 Words (3 Pages) • 683 Views
A VERY SMOKY ISSUE!
The issue of whether smoking should be allowed in public places or not has been under the microscope for the best part of six years; after a report released by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) about the risks and dangers of passive smoking. This report revealed that people who had never smoked but who live with a smoker were 30 per cent more likely to develop lung cancer and 24 per cent more likely to have a heart attack or die from coronary heart disease than those living with a non-smoker. Banning smoking in public places may seem like a drastic decision, however, personally I believe that it is in the interests of public health that smoking be banned in public places.
People argue that because smoking tobacco is legal that it should be allowed to be consumed wherever they want, and until tobacco is deemed an illegal substance they should have no guidelines on how they use it. All this being true (smoking not being illegal) it is unethical to say the least, to endanger someone's life and that is what many smokers do regularly basis, without even giving it a second thought. Although indirectly, smokers and their second hand smoke contribute to the symptoms of asthma in 46,500 Australian children each year and causes lower respiratory illness in another 16,300 youngsters each year.
There are fears that the banning of smoking in public places, especially in nightclubs, bars and restaurants could lead to loss business; resulting in loss of profits employment. The response from people favouring bans was that, "as a matter of priority, the safeguarding of public health is more important than profit."
The main argument on the side against banning smoking in public places is that it would be discriminating against individual smokers. And because they're addicted to nicotine, which is present in cigarettes, the ban would be punishing smokers for something they claim to have no control over. But should non-smokers have to suffer because of the addictions of others? When Dr Gerald Segal (Victorian president of the Australian Medical Association) (AMA) was asked about smokers' rights, Dr Segal replied, `Yes, they have a right to smoke, but they haven't any right to injure anyone else's health.'