Smoking Bans

No SmokingMany states are adopting laws against public smoking. No smoking in any business, and usually at least twenty five feet from a door to a business. Cities are implementing bans on smoking in public parks and city beaches. Companies now have policies to hire only non-smokers, those that smoked before the ban cannot smell of smoke at work or on the premises. Amazingly most smokers understand and support these bans.

The rationale for these smoking bans is of course the protection from harmful effects of secondhand smoke to workers. Other rationales for smoking bans include reduced risk of fire, decreased legal liability, reduced energy costs due to decreased use of ventilation systems, promotion of healthier environments, and incentives for smokers to quit.

The United States is not alone in smoking bans. The first known smoking ban was in 1590 when Pope Urban VII threatened to excommunicate anyone who used tobacco on the porchway or inside a church. Surprisingly the first modern smoking ban was imposed by the Nazi party in Germany. People were banned from smoking in universities, post offices, hospitals, and the party offices. In the 1970’s most businesses were required to have no smoking sections which eventually led to the 1990 decision the city of San Luis Obispo California to ban all indoor smoking in public places. Ireland was the first country to establish a nationwide smoking ban in all enclosed workplaces. They are right now creating laws that make it so cigarettes are not visible in stores. Norway, New Zealand, Italy, Estonia, Scotland, and Sweden all soon followed suit. Many other countries have bans on smoking, some consider the act illegal.

Here in the United States, with the success and popularity of the smoking ban in California, other states began bans as well. Currently there are thirty five states with some form of a smoking ban. Smoking has been banned on the streets of Tokyo, other Japanese cities are following this trend. Laws in some California cities make it so that the only place one can smoke is in their own home. Many states are adopting laws banning smoking in public parks and recreation areas.

Cigarette advertising in also banned in many parts of the world. Tobacco sponsorship of sports events is also prohibited. Tobacco companies are experiencing an eleven to fifteen percent drop in the use of tobacco products. Many smokers quit within five years of a smoking ban at work. Studies are showing that there has not been a negative economical impact on businesses, in fact local businesses are showing improvements.

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