Because of the alarming numbers of Americans dying from smoking-related diseases and illnesses, many States and cities have imposed smoking bans in public places to protect nonsmokers and to help smokers to cut their cigarette consumption or quit smoking completely. Among the 26 States that banned smoking in their jurisdiction, California was the first to impose anti-smoking policies in 1994. California State laws particularly prohibit smoking within twenty feet of windows, entrances, and exits of public buildings.
On the other hand, States like, Alaska, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Missouri, Indiana, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Wyoming, Texas, and West Virginia do not impose the same laws on smoking. Oklahoma in particular, prohibits their local legislative to enact laws stricter than that of the State’s, this means, local government cannot ban smoking in places where the State of Oklahoma does not prohibits. So, if you’re an anti-smoking advocate, you’ll have a lot of work in these States.
Studies have shown that complete ban on smoking helps lessen the health risks of smoking to both smokers and non-smokers. Below are 5 benefits of smoking ban to the public.
Smoking ban can create financial savings. The US spends almost US$100 billion in health care service because of smoking. Banning smoking can help cut back smoking among smokers and discourage new smokers. In a study, it was found out that there was a 47% decline in cardiovascular diseases and heart attack in places where there is a complete smoking ban. Aside from this, smokers can also save from buying cigarettes.
Smoking ban can help lessen mortality rate among both smokers and non-smokers. Secondhand smoke is more dangerous than firsthand smoke. This means people exposed to secondhand smoke are more likely to die earlier than smokers from cancers and other smoking-related diseases. In fact, about 50,000 people die every year because of secondhand smoke. Banning smoking in public places (bars, and open-dining places), can greatly reduce the exposure of non-smokers to secondhand smoke. On the same hand, the inconvenience brought by smoking bans can discourage smokers from lighting up and help them cut back and possibly quit for good.
Smoking ban can lessen cancer cases. With more than 2000 harmful chemicals (with 50 known cancer causing agents) found in cigarette smoke, smoking is among the primary causes of cancer. Thirty percent of cancer death is caused by smoking (roughly 150,000 deaths each year), 87% of which is due to lung cancer. Smoking bans can help cut the numbers of people dying from cancers.
Smoking ban can lessen other smoking related illnesses. Abstaining from smoking can lessen your risk
of developing illnesses and other diseases. In fact, abstaining even just for 20 minutes you instantly benefit from not smoking. In 20 minutes, your blood pressure returns to normal. Eight hours of abstinence can lower the nicotine level in your bloodstream to 6.25% (from 93.75%). Twelve hours of not smoking causes the oxygen level in your blood to normalize, 48 hours of abstinence allows your nerve endings and cilia to regrow, and thus you have an improved sense of taste and smell. What more if you abstain from smoking for good?
Smoking Ban and Its Social Benefits
Banning smoking in public does not only reduce the exposure of nonsmoker to secondhand smoke, but it also gives way to a better and fresher environment for the public. Most importantly, it encourages smokers to quit smoking.
Smoking is no doubt harmful to each and every one – young and adult alike. Banning smoking helps protect the health of nonsmokers, motivate smokers to quit and save many others from the debilitating effects of tobacco.