Smoking should be illegal, and many jurisdictions are already moving in that direction. In Ontario, Canada, where I live, it is illegal to smoke in any enclosed public area. At first, there were complaints from the owners and managers of restaurants, bars, casinos and bingo halls, who feared disastrous declines in business, but in fact, this has not occurred.
There is nothing good to say about tobacco addiction. It is harmful to the health of the smoker and to anyone else in the surrounding area. It causes cardiovascular disease, cancer of lung, larynx, esophagus, pancreas, kidney, cervix, leukemia, emphysema, and bronchitis. It promotes the growth of cataracts, causes tooth decay, and gum disease. The common cold, which non-smokers will catch and throw off, turns into bronchitis or pneumonia for the smoker, or those unfortunate enough to inhale the second-hand fumes.
In addition,the smoker will find that his addiction damages his social life. Although he cannot smell it, the odor of cigarette smoke clings to his hair, his clothes, his car and his home. The ugly brown stain on his finger and fingernail is noticeable even when he’s not indulging in his habit. There will be burn holes in his clothes, on his furniture, and in the upholstery of his car.
The least of the smoker’s problems is that smoking is expensive. The average price for a carton of cigarettes is about $45 (USA) and approximately $60 in Canada. If you figure out the cost over the period of a year, you’re in the area of the amount needed for the down payment on a house!
The smoker who continues to smoke today obviously chooses to do so despite the hazards. There are many aids to stop if he or she wishes to: patches, gum, pills,and support groups. The family doctor is the best source of help.
All smoking should be illegal because of the innocent victims who are subjected to the poisonous fumes although they do not smoke themselves. In this unfortunate group are the spouses, children, and family members and friends of smokers, as well as waiters, waitresses, staff, and customers who inhabit the same space while the smoker indulges in his habit.
Breathing second-hand smoke can be more dangerous than actually smoking. Those who inhale second-hand smoke receive twice as much nicotine and tar, and five times as much carbon dioxide as the smoker himself.
The decline in business feared by business owners when the “No smoking” law came into effect in Ontario did not occur. Many restaurants and bars actually saw an increase in business. It seems that a number of customers had avoided eating and drinking in smoke-filled rooms, because of allergies, other health concerns or just plain dislike of the acrid smell.
Other business owners installed patios or outdoor areas where smokers could indulge in comfort. This worked out well except on the coldest winter days.
Future governments will find that they more than make up for lost tax revenus from cigarette sales through the savings in health care costs.
In Ontario, those who choose to continue to smoke outdoors and in their own cars and homes are well on the way to an early grave. Just think, if smoking cigarettes were declared totally illegal everywhere, perhaps their lives could still be saved, in spite of themselves.
Accessed October 25, 2010
Accessed October 25, 2010