Should Smoking Be Allowed at Parks and Other Outdoor Public Venues?

Cigarette smoking is an accepted practice among men and women in today’s society. However, smoking is no a habit for everyone. In the public places like parks, for instance, the crowds are composed of smokers and non-smokers. Non-smokers prefer cleaner and breathable air; smokers, being human, love fresh air but can’t avoid lighting their cigars. The issue then is about the right to smoke, which is contrary to the right to clean air. However, both rights are impossible to cater at all circumstances. If the right to smoke applies to everyone, the same applies to the rights to fresh air. The establishment of the right to smoke in public places has costs on the non-smokers while the right to fresh air also has costs to those who smoke. For example, if public smoking is allowed those who do not smoke are susceptible to the damaging effects of SHS or second-hand smoke. Despite the evidences of its negative effects, the cigarette industry still booms in almost every country. Garland Denelsky observed that tobacco companies understand that if smoking bans were strictly implemented, it would seriously affect their industry and the image they have established to make smoking a sensation. To date, the debate on smoking in public places still rages on.

We all know that clean air is necessary for humans to breathe, and that one of the greatest challenges in the environment is air pollution. Its sources include the smoke from millions of cigarette users. Smoking must be limited and should not be practiced in areas frequented by the general public like in the parks and workplaces. Of course, smokers can still smoke, but only in areas where non-smokers will not be harmed by such deadly habit. To conclude, the main preference is to guarantee a cleaner air for the general public, but smokers can still smoke in a more regulated window of opportunity.

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