Should cigarette smoking be banned in public places?

ADVERTISEMENTS:

It is common knowledge that smoking cigarettes is injurious to health. It harms the smoker, and also endangers the lives of others around him, through passive smoking. Do we have this right to harm others, and ourselves by our irresponsible behaviour? Definitely not, therefore, in all propriety smoking cigarettes in public places should be banned altogether.

Cigarette smoking is a gift of modern times and has become fashionable nowadays. Many psychologists have done detailed statistical studies, to investigate why people smoke? Their findings are indeed shocking. The reasons given by smokers indicate that it is habit forming, increases concentration, and helps in killing time and to be in fashion.

These are but purely psychological reasons without any concrete benefit. On the other hand, specific medical studies have confirmed a direct linkage between Nicotine that is present in tobacco and the high incidence of Heart attack and Cancer in smokers and even passive smokers. These are dreadful diseases and at times prove fatal.

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The fortunate few, who manage to survive its clutches through expensive surgery and medication, remain scarred for life. They ultimately have to quit smoking and have to adopt a very strict and somber lifestyle if they want to live. We thus have no moral right to smoke, for smoking exposes us and the innocent public to the vagaries of this scourge. Someone rightly said, “You smoke we choke”.

Smoking in public places is also an infringement on the fundamental right of our fellow citizens, for it violates their right to live. Our protagonist may argue that banning smoking would violate the fundamental right of the individual. This is untrue, as no one has the right to endanger his own life, what to talk of others around him.

It is this realisation, which has forced many advanced countries like USA and UK to ban smoking in public. The immediate fallout of this has been, a drastic fall in the incidence of cases of heart attack, which is reported to have reduced by 30 to 40 percent. There is therefore no reason as to why; the same should not be done in India.

The consequences of smoking are indeed very grave and hence there is an immediate need to ban smoking in public .The public opinion should be built in this favour and if required, the lawmakers of the country should enact laws, whereby smoking in public places is effectively banned.

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