Public Smoking Should Be Banned, Entry 2

15/12/2010 § Leave a comment

Just to recap on what was researched in the past few weeks and what was just debated earlier in class today, my group (Group C) researched smoking in public places. Our subject was whether smoking in public should be or should not be banned. My group argued that smoking in public places should be banned and we spoke against Natacha, Yurika and Yiram. My personal opinion outside this debate hasn’t changed at all. I’m constantly bothered by the smell of smoke, the hazardous health issues that it brings and I simply believe smoking in public is not right. I still stand by my opinion that smoking in public should be banned.

One such resource that supports my opinion is the New York Times article written by Edward L. Glaeser, who talks about the banning of smoking in public places. In general, he speaks from a neutral point of view and states that his own view “is that there is not one right or wrong answer on smoking bans, which brings us back to the glories of local government.” Glaeser does provide information that does justify my opinion on smoking in public, though. When we think about our overall community, we can make a case about the health of other people, more importantly those who are non-smokers, like innocent little children or the aged, or good teenagers who know right from wrong. Even adults or college students who know better and who are also non-smokers are unfortunately in danger of jeopardizing their health through means of another person’s actions. “The public health case against smoking emphasizes the consequences to third parties of second-hand smoke.” (Glaeson, 2008).

The opposing team rebutted with cases such as the economy and “what about peoples’ jobs? people who work in pubs or help manufacture the cigarettes?” and such cases. They used graphs that showed the effects of banning public smoking on the economy of the USA and although the graphs seemed reliable and well-used, I believe the effects of the economy do not help the other group’s opinion and does not support their point. Again, the debate was about banning public smoking. The other team stated that the banning of public smoking would impact the economy negatively—and maybe this is true. Actually, it probably is true. But that is not what we’re trying to debate about. The people who are in the cigarette or tobacco industry are going to be fine even if public smoking is banned. Nowadays, there are more and more areas for private smoking—a good example is Japan. We’re not saying that smokers should throw away the habit—they have a right to smoke. Our group is simply saying that for the sake of the rest of the community’s health, they should take their smoking somewhere else.

Other sources that helped in my part of the debate include the article on ScienceDaily.com, written by one of the websites’ contributors. It does, however, give me more data that the effects of smoking and the diseases the smoke causes can cut life span by 10 years and is therefore dangerous. Now, if the smoke is dangerous , then we know that non-smokers are in danger of shortening their life spans because of public smoking. The smoke (mainstream, side stream and, all together, second-hand smoke) will be inhaled the general public and may just cut a person’s life span. The research from the article stated that people with the highest risk of either smoking or inhaling smoke have a 15 year reduced life expectancy (ScienceDaily, 2009). Because being exposed to second hand smoking (being exposed to smoke in public due to smoking in public) for an hour is equivalent smoking one cigarette, non-smokers have an increased chance of cutting down their life spans.

Another specific article I used was “Smoking Ban Pros and Cons” on the website Buzzle.com. The author, Rashida Khilawala, talks about both the positive and negative outcomes of banning public smoking. On the positive side (our group’s side) she made the case again that “smoking in public places expose non-smokers to second hand smoke. This causes health hassles to them as well.” (Khaliwala, 2010). Also, many of the points we made during our debate came from her article, such as: “Smoking in public places pose as the unnecessary influencing of the minds to innocent children” or, a case that actually benefits the smoker: “Several people begin to quit because they just can’t find another place to smoke but are simply urged to quit smoking with the ban.” Khaliwala also introduced some of the cons of the debate and the opposite group. Such cases are that the government currently makes a lot of money from the sale of cigarettes therefore, the ban would effect the economy badly afterwards. The writer also mentions that “a lot of restaurants, cafes, and pubs are losing clientele due to the smoking ban in their premises. Due to this fact, several people have lot their jobs, (Khaliwala, 2010)” but what could possibly be more important? The fact that you’ve lost one measly job working at a pub or the fact that the banning of public smoking can actually urge the community and the local public to focus on a healthier lifestyle?

As for getting specific with who said what, both Yurika and Natacha talked about the negative effects of the smoking ban on the economy. Afterwards, our rebuttals (both 1 and 2, I believe: me and Jon, respectively) mentioned, with the help of Maggie, that the revenue made on the sales of cigarettes did not compensate for the money needed to take care of smoke-related diseases and illnesses. Yiram then talked about a person’s right to express who they are publicly but we retaliated that it shouldn’t be fair that a person is expressing themselves while smoking and putting bad air into other peoples’ lungs. They are free to express who they are—and they are smokers—but better to express themselves privately and in ways that don’t actually harm the people around them.

In conclusion, I think my group didn’t do a horrible job during the debate. We were able to pull out our strongest and main points and were able to quickly find ways to retaliate against the other group. Maybe if we had a more organized second half, a more organized closing, then we’d have been able to leave the audience also thinking that public smoking should definitely be banned.

Source:

Glaeser, E. L. (2008, November 11). Should cities ban smoking in public places? [Article]. Retrieved December 6, 2010, from The
New York Times website: http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/11/11/should-cities-ban-smoking-in-public-places/

Khilawala, R. (2010). Smoking ban pros and cons. Retrieved December 3, 2010, from Buzzle.com website:
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/smoking-ban-pros-and-cons.html

Smoking and heart diseases risks can cut life span by 10 years [Article]. (2009, September 28). Retrieved December 13, 2010,
from ScienceDaily website: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090927150030.htm

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