Since 1964, 2,500,000 people have died from secondhand smoke (Secondhand smoke (SHS) facts, Dec. 20, 2016). There are two types of secondhand smoke: sidestream and mainstream. Sidestream smoke is the smoke that comes off of the burning end of the cigarette. Mainstream smoke is the smoke that is exhaled by the smoker (Health risks of secondhand smoke, 2017). Both kinds of secondhand smoke cause cancer and are unhealthy to breathe in. Public indoor smoking is one of the main places where people are exposed to secondhand smoke.
Public indoor smoking should be banned nationwide due to adult health concerns, child health concerns, and personal rights. There Are Many Adult Health Issues Caused By Indoor Public Smoking Exposure to secondhand smoke can cause many adverse health effects on adults. Exposure to secondhand smoke has been linked to causing cancer in several parts of the body including: voice box, lung, throat, sinus, brain, bladder, and stomach (Health risks of secondhand smoke, 2017). There are approximately 3,000 adult US deaths from lung cancer that has been caused by secondhand smoke exposure.
Along with causing cancer, adults have a greater chance of developing asthma later in life if exposed to secondhand smoke. There have been studies that link secondhand smoke to stroke and heart attacks in adults. Secondhand smoke exposure causes approximately 46,000 heart attacks each year in the United States. The exposure to secondhand smoke increases the risk of heart disease by about 30 percent. Along with causing cancer some studies show that secondhand smoke causes mental and emotional changes in adults. These changes include cases of depression and other emotional changes.
More studies are needed in order to prove the links between more mental health issues and secondhand smoke (Health risks of secondhand smoke, 2017). There are 7,000 identified chemicals found in secondhand smoke. Of those 7,000 chemicals 250 are known to be harmful and dangerous to the body including: hydrogen cyanide, carbon monoxide, and ammonia. There are at least 69 cancer causing chemicals identified in secondhand smoke. Some of those cancer causing chemicals include: arsenic, benzene, beryllium, Butadiene, nickel, and many others (Secondhand smoke and cancer, Jan. 2, 2011).
The Tobacco Control Legal Consortium stated in 2008 that, “Smoking not only injures nearly every organ of the smoker’s body, but it inflicts considerable damage on nonsmokers. Exposure to secondhand smoke is estimated to kill approximately 50,000 non-smokers in the United States each year. ” (There is no constitutional right to smoke: 2008, March 2008). Too much exposure to secondhand smoke can cause addiction to nicotine. There is not a safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke (Secondhand smoke (SHS) facts, Dec. 20, 2016).
The briefest exposure to secondhand smoke has the potential to cause cancer and other adverse health effects. The only way to become completely safe from indoor smoke exposure is to ban indoor public smoking. There Are Many Child Health Issues Caused By Indoor Public Smoking Exposure to secondhand smoke can cause many adverse health effects on children. Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke have a greater chance of getting cancers such as: lymphoma, leukemia, liver cancer, and brain tumors (Health risks of secondhand smoke, 2017).
Not only does exposure to secondhand smoke cause cancer in children, but also makes children more sick in general. Studies have shown that children get more ear and lung infections when exposed to secondhand smoke (Health risks of secondhand smoke, 2017). Children also get more colds, more cases of bronchitis, and more cases of pneumonia when exposed to secondhand smoke (Secondhand smoke and cancer, Jan. 12, 2011). Second hand smoke can cause shortness of breath, and other asthma symptoms in children even if they do not have asthma.
Secondhand smoke can cause non asthmatic children to become asthmatic over time. Secondhand smoke can also cause asthma symptoms to flare up in children with preexisting asthma conditions. A child’s asthma condition can be worsened over time if they are exposed to secondhand smoke (Health risks of secondhand smoke, 2017). Exposure to secondhand smoke has several adverse effects on unborn children. Pregnant woman who are exposed to secondhand smoke have a greater chance of giving birth to an undeveloped or underweight baby.
An infant has double the chance of having Sudden Infant Death Syndrome if the mother is exposed to secondhand smoke (Secondhand smoke 2006). Secondhand smoke has been linked to causing problems in an infant’s lung and overall body development. Babies who are exposed to secondhand smoke after birth is more likely to develop respiratory infections, asthma, and sudden infant death syndrome (Secondhand smoke 2006). Secondhand smoke causes ear problems and decelerates lung growth in young children.
The Tobacco Control Legal Consortium stated in 2008 that, ”Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States. More than 12 million premature deaths over the past 40 years were attributable to smoking. ” (There is no constitutional right to smoke: 2008, March 2008). A 2006 General Surgeons report stated,“Children who are exposed to secondhand smoke are inhaling many of the same cancer-causing substances and poisons as smokers. Because their bodies are developing, infants and young children are especially vulnerable to the poisons in secondhand smoke. (Secondhand smoke 2006).
Since premature and infant children are more susceptible to the toxins in secondhand smoke the nation needs to ban indoor public smoking in order to allow pregnant women and infants to go wherever they wish without the fear and adverse effects of secondhand smoke exposure. Indoor public smoking should be banned nationwide due to personal rights. People have the personal right not to breath in others smoke. If a person is smoking and everyone else around that person is being forced to breathe in that smoke that isn’t fair.
Why should people have to breathe in secondhand smoke if they are against it? A Madison High School government teacher defines personal rights as “The rights you have until it is taking away someone else’s rights. ” Going off of that definition public indoor smoking is an infringement on people’s personal rights. People have the right not to get sick or have cancer. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, established in 1948, says “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health, and wellbeing of himself and his family…” (Human rights, 2016).
Secondhand smoke causes many health issues and ailments. People should be able to walk into any public building they please without running the risk of encountering secondhand smoke and acquiring all of its adverse health effects. Ash. org under the human rights page states, “People have the right not to be forced to breathe secondhand smoke, and the right to be free from addiction. Children have the right to not be targeted by marketing that leads them to addiction and an early death. ”(Human rights, 2016). As the quote says people have the right to be addiction free and be in a smoke free environment.
There are “split” restaurants and other buildings where there is a smoker and a nonsmoker section of the building, but the smoke doesn’t respect the boundaries. The smoke doesn’t know where the line is in the “split” buildings, so the nonsmokers are still breathing in secondhand smoke. Ventilated work areas are not completely secondhand smoke free either. The ventilation systems aren’t strong enough to completely get rid of the lingering secondhand smoke. Some smokers ty to claim that laws that ban indoor public smoking are unconstitutional, but that isn’t necessarily true.
Some people say that public indoor smoking is a privacy right, but The Tobacco Control Legal Consortium stated, “Activities that are specially protected under the fundamental right to privacy include marriage, procreation, abortion, contraception, and the raising and educating of children. The fundamental right to privacy does not include smoking. In the words of one court, ‘There is no more a fundamental right to smoke cigarettes than there is to shoot up or snort heroin or cocaine or run a red-light. ” (There is no constitutional right to smoke: 2008, March 2008).
Some smokers try to say that they are being discriminated against and try to claim that the “Equal Protection Clause” should protect them. The Tobacco Control Legal Consortium stated this in regards to the previous claim, “… smokers are not a specially protected group under the Constitution. Smoking is not an ‘immutable characteristic’ because people are not born smokers and smoking, while addictive, is still a behavior that people can stop.
Since smokers are not a specially protected group, a smoke-free law that ‘discriminates’ against smokers will not violate the Equal Protection Clause so long as the law is rationally related to a legitimate government goal. ” (There is no constitutional right to smoke: 2008, March 2008). There is no constitutional right to smoke, and indoor public smoking violates others personal rights. Conclusion Public indoor smoking should be banned nationwide due to adult health concerns, child health concerns, and personal rights.
There are many adverse health effects found in both adults and children that are caused by secondhand smoke. The constitution doesn’t specifically protect the right to smoke and public indoor smoking infringes upon other people’s rights. The Tobacco Control Legal Consortium said it best when they said, “… the fundamental right to privacy ‘does not include the right to inflict health-destructive secondhand smoke upon other persons, especially children who have no choice in the matter. ’”(There is no constitutional right to smoke: 2008, March 2008).