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Smoking Ban Persuasive Essay

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BACKGROUND INFORMATION

For several decades, smoking remains one of the most common and most unhealthy of human habits. Smoking, specifically in public, had generally been regarded as a personal choice that bystanders had little control over. Now for the first time, the act of public smoking is becoming regulated, even restricted in many cities worldwide. The city of Columbia has recently implemented a ban on smoking in efforts to reduce the negative effects of smoking on employees and customers of restaurants and bars. The issue is that smoke directly affects everyone in the vicinity of a public place, restaurant or bar. Based on the evidence that a ban on smoking prevents secondhand smoke, deters the unhealthy habit of smoking, does not affect business in similar cities, the city of Columbia should retain its ban on smoking in restaurants and bars.

REASONING

The smoking ban ensures a healthier environment for employees and customers of restaurants and bars because it prevents secondhand smoke. According to the surgeon general, the contents of secondhand smoke contains dangerous carcinogens (cancer-causing agents), and holds that secondhand smoke exposure causes harmful diseases and premature death in children and adults (U.S.). Furthermore, adults exposed to secondhand smoke experience immediate effects on their cardiovascular system, causing an increased risk of heart disease from twenty-five to thirty percent and lung cancer increased from twenty to thirty percent (“Fact”). By requiring smokers to exit the building to smoke or use outdoor patios, establishments (under the smoking ban) remain smoke-free, creating a healthier atmosphere for employees and customers. Other methods venues have used to decrease secondhand smoke include separating smokers and nonsmokers, filtering the air and ventilating buildings. However, these are simply inadequate. Eliminating smoking indoors fully prevents exposure to secondhand smoke (U.S.).

In addition to preventing secondhand smoke, cities similar to Columbia have studied the effects of a ban on smoking. Those cities found that a ban on smoking did not affect business. A study in El Paso, Texas, proved that a smoking ban did not affect business. By comparing revenues from restaurants, bars, and retail establishments twelve years before and one year after the smoking ban was passed, the results of the study showed that there was no statistical difference in revenue (Huang). Another similar study conducted in New York City, New York, showed that businesses were not only unaffected by the smoking ban but eventually thrived, as tax receipts increased eight point seven percent. In addition, employment in restaurants and bars increased by 10,600 jobs in New York since the smoking ban began (“The State”). Thus, the claim of business in Columbia negatively affected from the smoking ban is inaccurate. Many critics claim that a smoking ban harms business in Columbia, because a few restaurants and bars have closed since the ban was in enacted. However they have failed to supply viable evidence that a smoking ban negatively affects business, forgetting to count for others factors such as bad food, location, and poor business decisions by owners.

Besides not affecting business, a smoking ban deters smoking in general. With the ban in place it allows those who want to quit smoking the incentive to quit. A contributing factor to this is inhaling tobacco actually increases the number of receptors in the brain that crave nicotine. So, if there is no smoke being inhaled people actually crave cigarettes less. Dr. Richard Hurt, director of the nicotine dependence clinic at the Mayo Clinic says, “If you're in a place where smoking is allowed, your outside world is hooked to the receptors

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