Essay Against Banning Smoking In Public Places

Smoking is one of the major health issues of the 21st century, and laws to restrict where people can smoke are an increasingly common feature of life in western democracies. It can be a controversial subject, with pressure groups on both sides trying to influence the direction of lawmakers. This controversy makes for an interesting essay subject. If you have to write an essay against banning smoking in public places, whether because it's an assigned topic or because you feel strongly on the issue, there are a few points that will help you out.


First, what do you mean by "public place"? Are there differences between banning smoking in bars or restaurants and banning smoking in parks or on the street? Is a bar a public space or the private property of its owner?

Examples of Bans.

There are now many examples of smoking bans to choose from. Some countries have banned smoking in all government buildings; others have added any building that the public have access to, and even open-air spaces that are publicly owned.

Public Reactions to Bans.

The reaction to bans has varied widely. In societies where smoking was already seen as antisocial, such as California, there was widespread public support. In others the reaction was different. In Germany, for example, smoking bans carry cultural baggage because the first one was introduced by Hitler in 1936.As a result there was considerable opposition to a ban. Although one is now in place, in most states it has so many exemptions for bar owners that it is essentially worthless except in government buildings and hospitals.

Effect on Businesses.

Smoking bans have been linked to business failures in the hospitality industry. In the UK over 40 pubs closed every week in the period after the ban on smoking in bars was introduced, and many owners blamed the ban itself.

Civil Liberties Issues.

Smoking bans have been attacked on several civil liberties grounds. The right of business owners to allow smoking in their own establishments is a common one. As the scope of proposed bans widens more issues are being raised. For example some US and Canadian states have introduced laws to ban people from smoking in their cars, and in the UK some campaigners want to limit the right to smoke in your own home. These raise obvious questions about private property.

Although the trend is in favor of smoking bans there are plenty arguments you can use to argue against them. The internet has many sites presenting the arguments and data you can use to back them up.

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