Smoking Bans and Tobacco Control Policy

Bans on smoking are community rules that encompass of wrong laws and healthiness and safety laws that forbid the smoking of tobacco in places of employment and other community spaces. Smoking may be described by the legislation to be the custody of any lit product of tobacco. The ultimate aim is to reduce the risk from tobacco consumption, and this can be mainly done by reducing the frequency of smoked tobacco. Moral questions also arise in accordance to the civil liberty of each person, and policymakers prefer not to get in the way of smokers rights excluding the minors. It is the hazardous effect of smoking to nonsmokers that validate the policy action, particularly for workers. Legislative bans on smoking differ in their comprehensiveness (Phelps, 2007). This implies that the degree to which smoking is allowed or restricted is to allocate where restrictions on smoking occurs.

The underlying principle for smoke-free laws is founded on the fact that it is optional to smoke but breathing is mandatory. Smoking bans are therefore present to defend breathing people from second-hand smoke effects. These effects include an augmented risk of heart disease, emphysema, cancer and other diseases. Many countries have implemented indoor smoking bans over the years.

Scientific proof has also been cited by some legislators that prove that smoking of tobacco is dangerous to the smokers and those breathing in second-hand smoke. Smoking bans may reduce health care costs, improve the productivity of work and reduce the overall labor costs in a community. Additional fundamental ideology on the limitations for smoking comprise of reduced fire outbursts in regions with dangerous hazards, reduced legal liability, cleaner environments and issuing of incentives to smokers so that they can stop smoking.

Evidence from scientific research indicates that second-hand smoking has the same effects like direct smoking. These effects include lung cancer, lung sickness like emphysema, asthma, Lower respiratory tract disease, nasal and eye irritation, cardiovascular disease and bronchitis. Meta-analyses specifically indicate that life-long nonsmokers living with partners who smoke have a 20-30% higher risk of lung cancer than those living with nonsmokers (Warner, 2006). An increased danger of lung cancer of about 16-19% is encountered by nonsmokers depicted to smoke from cigarettes in their place of work.

Nonsmokers are exposed to similar carcinogens in relation to tobacco smoke as the effective smokers. 69 carcinogens are found in side stream smoke mainly benzopyrene. Side torrent smoke also includes polynuclear hydrocarbons and artifacts on radioactive decay like polonium 210. Research conducted by tobacco companies has shown that carcinogens are highly concentrated in secondhand smoke than in mainstream smoke.

The main aim of smoking bans is to protect nonsmokers from harmful effects on their health as an outcome of exposure to secondhand smoke to their health. Another reason is to give a conducive environment for those who want to stop smoking. Smoking bans have helped reduce secondhand smoke exposure in the society. The second main cause of mortality in the world is tobacco (Owing, 2005). It is presently responsible for the deaths of approximately one in ten adults globally. The Framework Convention of Tobacco highlights measures to manage the demand and supply of products from tobacco and protection of public health. Environmental tobacco also known as secondhand smoke is the mixture of mainstream smoke and side-stream smoke. Side-stream smoke is smoke emitted between puffs of tobacco cigarettes while mainstream smoke is smoke puffed out by the smokers (Hudson, 2008). Secondhand smoke is a mixture of air and matter emitted from the combustion of products from tobacco during smoking.

Smoking bans is a societal issue and can be looked at as a public policy issue. The process of decision making is underlying it is ultimately a political and stakeholder act which lies on various sources of evidence including mechanistic proof of smoke toxicity, epidemiological proof that smoking is connected to a pathological endpoint and policy proof that inflicting a constraint will be socially suitable and gain high compliance. Bans can be executed through policies on public health or legislation influencing populations at a national and community level.

One possible result of smoking bans and constraints is to reduce or do away with the exposure of nonsmokers to the risks of secondhand smoke (Barron, 2005). Reduction of tobacco consumption between smokers in specific areas like the workplace and society at large is also another potential result of smoking bans. Stakeholders, especially in the workplace are concerned with bans on smoking to give their employees a good working environment.

Smoking brings about many severe health issues to the smokers and nonsmokers as discussed in this paper. It is, therefore, the responsibility of every one to take care of their health. Smokers should reduce the number of cigarettes consumed or seek help from rehabilitation centers in cases of addiction. Non-smokers, on the other hand, should avoid smoking regions and stick to non-smoking regions to avoid the effects of side-stream smoke. If these precautions are taken seriously by both parties, then, smoking risks will greatly reduce.


Barron, K. (2005). Smoking in Public Places. London: The Stationery Office.

Hudson, D.L. (2008).Smoking Bans.New York: Chelsea House Publishers.

Owing, J.H. (2005). Focus on smoking and health research. New York: Nova Science Publishers.

Phelps, R.T. (2007).The causes and effects of comprehensive private sector smoking bans. New York: University of Kentucky.

Warner, K. E. (2006). Tobacco control policy. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

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