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Smokers are the Victims of Secondhand Smoke

Smoking is a choice that everyone has to make. It is understood that smoking is bad for your health and nasty habit, but the rights of smokers have been taken away. Smoking and non-smoking sections were and exellent idea that is being slowly abolished. Over the last few years, secondhand smoke has become one of the largest, and most incredible tall tales ever. Through the lack of knowledge, closed minds, and pure self-centeredness, smokers rights have been stripped away in most places, and they are left with an unhealthy habit, started by our distant ancestors.

Smoking is an addictive habit that most people start at a young age and can t kick. Throughout the years, it has been thought to be cool if you were a smoker. With recent studies and vague facts, non-smokers have been introduced to a new way or scheme to abolishing the distinct smell they deem to be nasty. In agreement, most people feel that the smell of smoke is not desired, but taking away the rights of smokers is unconstitutional and demises the whole basis of America. An all non-smoking environment is unfair to any one who chooses to smoke.

Smokers often encounter an abundance of flack by those who choose not to smoke. In some aspects, smokers and non-smokers have been in abruptly placed in classes or races. In the days of old, our ancestors used smoking as a social tool. When homes were constructed, many families would add a Smoking Room . It was a room in

which the household men would subside shortly after meals to discuss politics, money, jobs, and other important issues. If in our standards then, (what our country is based on) it was acceptable, then why not now? In our history, many great people have been smokers: Thomas Edison celebrated his invention of an incandescent lamp with barrels of cigars, Albert Einstein loved to keep a pipe in his mouth, as did many other great persons. Though, cigarette smoking is far more hazardous than cigar and pipe smoking (Berger 22), reports of cigarettes beneficial effects are wiped out by the emphasized hazardous aspects. Mainly, because of some inconsiderate Americans feelings smokers become discriminated against. They feel that their rights should be striped just because of their unhealthy habits.

In every aspect of life, someone could break it down and find it unhealthy or immoral in one way or another. Why is smoking any different than the preference of religion? People are not expected to leave the Holy Bibles in their vehicles, because another is agnostic. That is an infraction on their rights and would be discriminating. One writer states, Once an assumption is made that, say, eating jellybeans causes carbuncles, it is all too easy to gather and/or manipulate data to support the theory. It is all too easy for researchers to ignore or explain away data which points the other way (Colby 1). Why is smoking any different?

Second-hand smoke is clearly evident and proven to be slightly harmful to others. But, studies show that there have been no reportances of deaths or cancer by secondhand smoke. Some use the plea that it smells. Well of course it smells, its smoke, and so does the sewer but we re not expected to not use it because of that. The term secondhand

smoke is often used in a way that undermines the data it supports. People have the right to choose. Which simply means, that if a person wants to smoke than so be it, after all it is legal.

Though the physical consequences on smoker are there own responsibility, secondhand smoking infringes on nonsmoker s right, not to smoke. However, the EPA s (Environmental Protection Agency) estimation of secondhand smoking is now questioned because they keep changing its numbers. As one reporter said, First, the number was 300,000. Then, before the government announced it, the number went up to 420,000. Finally, after the announcement, it dropped down to 3,000 not 30,000 or 300,000 (Di Lorenzo 36). This annual number of deaths is almost equal to bicycle accidents, and automobiles accidents cause more than 50,000 deaths. In addition, the EPA policy guide on workplace Environmental Tobacco Smoke or ETS (secondhand smoke) was actually written before the evaluation of the evidence was completed. It is also said, one of the members of this organization admitted that they had ignored some facts that did not support their prospected conclusion (Di Lorenzo 36).

With all the evidence collected to support that ETS is not at all harmful to others, it is wondered why smoking in outdoor facilities is not allowed in most places. It is amazing that in the open air people feel that smoking could, in the slightest way, affect their health. It is agreeable that cigarette smoke is not the best smell in the world, but it alone has brought the world to believe in the myth of cancer from second hand smoke. The world is in an uproar with this belief. Smoking is harmful to me and I don t even smoke (Farley 60). Statements like this have not been researched thoroughly. It is a

proven fact that no one has ever died from the effects of secondhand smoke alone. With being said, why is smoking banned in most public places?

Smokers are suffering. An anti-smoking mood has being successfully increased by politicians, including members of the EPA, of the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), and some of scientific institutions. The government s statements on secondhand smoking lead to negative images of smokers. Though the number of secondhand smoke deaths was false, the fear still remains. Then, this mood was reflected in the media, and most politicians inspired the public opinion well. Now, smoking is prohibited in public buildings in the United States, although smokers pay more tax than nonsmokers. Anti-smokers still believe that setting up smoking areas is not enough to prevent the effects of secondhand smoking.

As if non-smoking public areas is not enough, there are some people who try and influence the parents of children to stop smoking. As displayed in a recent article from Family Education,

We at least owe our kids a chance at the healthiest life possible. It s their birthright. This isn t a guilt trip. It s a call to kick the habit that hurts you and that may seriously compromise your child s health. With courage, dedication and support, parents who smoke can kick the habit and give their children a healthy start in life and safe family air to breathe as they grow. (1)

The myths of secondhand smoke lurk in odd places, and they often plant foolish ideas in the heads of people with position or critics. They attempt to persuade people to stop

smoking by threatening the lives of their children. Secondhand smoke has gone too far. If the people who claim to have knowledge about ETS would perform a little more research then they would be surprised with all the information they would find.

For the most part, smoking and non-smoking sections are still available in most public places, but in California there is a different story. New laws have just been passed to ban smoking in several bars, and nightclubs. For this reason, the attendance levels have dropped and amazing 20% since the laws have passed. The new smoking law outrages many Californian business owners. They feel that it is their establishment and it is there right to ban smoking if they desire, not the government.

Secondhand smoke carries it s own particular punch to society. With all the myths involved it is a wonder that smoking laws could pass any type of government. Hopefully, people will learn to understand the rights of smokers as well as the rights of non-smokers, but with the tall tales and the published lies of the alleged poisoning by the smokers, it is hard to comprehend. If everyone would learn to respect other people s choices and maybe have a little compassion for one another then the government would not have to step in and lend a fearful hand to the public.

Works Cited

Berger, Peter L. Furtive Smokers: and What They Tell Us about America.

Commentary June 1994: 21-26.

Colby, Lauren A. In Defense of Smokers. 18 Nov. 2000. http://www.lcolby.com.htm.

Corliss, Richard. What s All The Fuming About? Time 18 April 1994: 65.

Di Lorenzo, Thomas. Policing PC. National Review 28 Aug. 1995: 36-38.

Farley, Christopher John. The Butts Stops Here. Time 18 April 1994: 58-62.

Let s clean the air. Family Education Jan. 1999. 20 Nov. 2000.



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