Smoking In Public: Episode preview and article
Written by: Alvina Anwar - Writer for the Topilitical article chain
It’s a familiar sign to many. The words “NO SMOKING” alongside a cartoon cigarette plastered against a wall. For many of us, we’ve started, or still, believe that smoking is incredibly hazardous and should someone want to smoke, must do it on their terms. Meaning, not in public.
It's a well-known fact that smoking is not a healthy option, nonetheless, many continue with the practice. However, those who do smoke usually do so without knowing all of the health side effects. The most common type of fuming, cigarettes, as well as many others, require the individual to exhale, letting multiple toxins escape. This is usually the main reason why smoking in public, especially in settings with vulnerable citizens, such as young children, is forbidden.
According to 'smokefree.gov', secondhand smoking can cause breathing problems such as coughing and shortness of breath, a higher chance of heart disease and heart attacks, and, at its very worst, even lung cancer. Although we're focusing on outdoor smoking, which would have lighter side effects, it would still put others at risk for health concerns.
Keep in mind, this all applies to those who don't even pick up a smoke themselves. They're just unfortunate enough to be around those who have.
This causes many to gravitate towards not smoking in public. Nevertheless, there are reasons why someone would believe that secondhand smoking, even with the stats that say otherwise, isn't as harmful. Since we're mainly talking about outdoor smoking this week, it plays a huge advantage to pro-smokers.
Once secondhand smoking goes outdoors, it turns into third hand smoking. Although the risk remains, according to 'Consultant360', it doesn't affect onlookers as much. Rather, the environment as it is outdoors and spreads onto grass, and other plants. For infants and young children, they're still a high risk as studies show that they're about 100 times more sensitive to toxins, due to their developing lungs.
Now, this still seems extremely unfair to many. Why should other people, especially children, have to suffer because of one's own selfish needs? As well, the environmental element appears ridiculous. This could have a huge effect on pollution, and possibly even climate change. Overall, smoking isn't good for others.
However, people are still going to smoke. Due to the nicotine involved in cigarettes as well as most smoking devices, it lets off a sense of excitement, as well as relaxation for many. Nicotine addiction won't end if we refuse to let people smoke in public. They'll still smoke in their own homes, affecting not only themselves much harsher, but also their families and those they reside with. Some believe that a better way to cope with the issue of smoking is not to ban the practice in certain areas, but rather raise the funding for rehabilitation, and get smokers to quit completely on their own, instead of temporarily stopping by force.
Although this is a unique and profound idea, it would affect the economy and overall funding of the government. Other required government-funded resources, such as the police force and medical care, might have to be held back and have their pay decreased. If the government wants to increase funding for rehabilitation, possibly reducing the price to those who need it, that could mean an increase in taxes. So, that concept, as great as it is, may not be an option.
However, there is yet another idea from the pro-public smoking side. To simply stop casual smoking altogether. Yes, the idea sounds ridiculous. How can you stop something that's gone on for decades? Regular cigarettes and vapes are in the hands of nearly 1/3 of the U.S population and can be easily accessed by the rest. However, the thinking process isn't to steal anything you can smoke. Rather, make it more inconvenient. Instead of only suspending it in public for the convenience of others, we could have stricter laws and increase the prices of these sources.
This discussion will be available as of 2021-04-19 on platforms including, Spotify, Google Podcasts and topilitical.com. David Barbu, the podcast founder will be debating against outdoor smoking, whereas Nehan Mohaimin will argue for the continuation of smoking outdoors.