Smoking Bans

By: Sara Mendez

Over 50% of states are covered by a smoking ban of some form according to The ban severity depends on the state. Some states the ban includes hotel rooms and others it includes restaurants and bars while other states smoking isn't allowed anywhere. Since healthcare costs in America are completely out of control, many feel bans such as these have come at a good time. If anything the laws are only going to get more and more strict.

In 2005 Washington state imposed $100.00 fines for lighting up within 25 feet of restaurants, bars, movie complexes and other public places according to an article in USAToday. California also became the first state to out law smoking on all of its beaches, Indiana will not allow smoking at bus stops or ATMs, and in many states healthcare workers are forbidden to smoke during the work day and must sign a contract agreeing to this rule. Other states have taken their smoking bans to another level, in Iowa even smoking in your car anywhere on the grounds with get you a fine USAToday also reports. These trends have no where to go but up mainly due to people raising awareness among the public.

Second hand smoke was once thought of as nothing more than annoying. However research as shown there is cause for major concern about second hand smoke. Those exposed to second hand smoke are at equal risk as smokers to developing lung cancer asthma and emphysema. The public feels an obligation to keep non-smokers healthy largely due to rising healthcare costs and health problems.

Since California has been one of the major players in the smoking ban, they decided to take it one step further. Just when the public thought the ban couldn't get any tougher, California added the old one two and included a ban on driving while smoking with children in the car. This law passed in 2007 making it one of the most drastic in the nation according to It outraged smokers who feel smoking in their own car is their business, however California's govern and its lawmakers felt differently. Children should not be made to be exposed to second hand smoke.

Some feel by imposing smoking bans on the public, law makers are taking away a smokers right to choose what they do to their own body. While this maybe true, children and non-smokers are not given a choice at all when they are being exposed to second hand smoke. Smokers are still able to smoke in their homes and private property. They are only asked to respect the public who does not want to be around smoke.

Fifty years ago smoking in public places and job sites was widely accepted. It was considered a social thing and not thought of as a dirty habit. However after seeing the effects of smoking many have chose to quit. Banning smoking is replacing the smoking socialization factor of fifty years ago, the new trend is healthy and no one should expect this new trend to go anywhere any time soon.

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