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Smoking in Public Places:
A Bibliographic Analysis Essay
Sarah Jacques
Academic affiliation: Oklahoma State University
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This paper will examine the many issues associated with banning public smoking. For many years American citizens have been permitted to smoke in public places. As a result, smoking has been accepted as part of the 'normal' behavior. However, recent development of major issues concerning the many effects of smoking in public places has been in the forefront. These issues include many health risks for the citizens, effects on the economic system and the effects public smoking has on the occupants in the workplace and in restaurants. The scholars presented within this essay closely examine such issues. In addition each scholar supports his or her views with thoroughly researched information.

One of the major and most debated effects of secondhand smoking is the negative health effects associated with it. Cigarettes contain many harmful ingredients, which cause many negative health problems when they are released in the form of smoke. For example, "tobacco smoke contains many known carcinogens, there is plainly a rise that passive exposure to such agents could give rise to lung cancer in non-smokers" (Shephard 95). Along with lung cancer, secondhand smoke (SHS) has many other negative effects such as respiratory problems such as asthma, and many different types of cancer on everyone who comes in contact with it.

In the article "Secondhand Smoke Exposure among Middle and High School Students," the various ages that secondhand smoke affects is discussed, as well as the many health issues that were highlighted in Shepard's article. However, in addition to Shepard's article, this article clarifies that adults are not the only victims of secondhand smoke, but that teenagers and infants are also victims. In fact, due to their young age and undeveloped bodies, teenagers and infants are more likely susceptible to suffering more serious consequences from secondhand smoke than adults. As discussed in Shephard's article, second hand smoke often leads to lung cancer. Consequently, teenagers and especially infants are more likely to develop lung cancer, or some of the other health problems that are associated with secondhand smoke. Shephard suggest two reasons for secondhand smoke being a higher threat to young children. First, "young children are vulnerable both to air pollutants and respiratory pathogens because of a high respiratory minute volume per unit of body mass" (Shephard 99). The second reason is because "an infant or toddler has little opportunity to move away from a chain-smoking mother" (Shephard 99).

The negative effects that secondhand smoking has on its passive victims, like the ones discussed in Shephard's article, can even result in death. "Approximately 38,000 deaths are attributable to second hand smoke exposure each year" (Observational 307). These deaths include adults, teenagers, and even infants. The harmful chemicals that are discussed in Shephard's article and in the article titled "Secondhand Smoke Exposure among Middle and High School Students" are all causes of these deaths. As a result of these deaths and the many other negative effects of secondhand smoke, many states within the United States are trying to ban smoking in all public places. While several states have been successful at this, Georgia has not. One major reason is because Georgia does not have a state law that prohibits smoking in public places. By not containing a law that prohibits smoking in public places, it is very difficult to gain the public support needed to issue a smoking ban.

Although the state of Georgia does not have a law making it possible to ban public smoking, many other states do retain the power to ban smoking. Rachel Gecker's article highlights the states that have already passed laws that ban public smoking in places such as restaurants, bars and taverns. The reason that New York City, Dallas, El Paso, Denver, Philadelphia, and other cities have banned public smoking is because of the various health effects previously mentioned by scholars in this essay. For example, in Shephard's essay, he states that one of the main ingredients in tobacco smoke leads to lung cancer. Also, in the article titled "Observational Survey of Smoking Provisions in Food Service Establishments - Southeast Health District, Georgia, 2001," it is stated, "some of the highest reported exposures to concentrations of SHS are found in food service establishments" (308). By eliminating the large measure of secondhand smoking in food establishments, states are decreasing the possibility of the negative health effects mentioned in Shephard's essay and preventing the chances of deaths that are a result of secondhand smoking.

While the amount of secondhand smoking is reportedly the highest in food establishments, the amount of secondhand smoking is on a rise in other workplaces. Paul Frumkin examines the steps and reasons why the Northeast states in the U.S. are beginning to pass laws restricting employees from smoking in the workplaces. In addition to laws, the "Massachusetts Senate passed a budget package that contains a measure seeking to eliminate smoking in all workplaces, including restaurants, bars and hotels" (Frumkin 4). Other states that are beginning to ban smoking in the work place include Rhode Island, Maine, New Jersey, and New York. (Frumkin 4). This article by Frumkin gives support to Rachel Gecker's article by adding to the list of states already in the process of banning smoking in public places.

Although Frumkin states that the amount of smoke exposure is higher in restaurants than in the bars and workplaces, Hao Tang adds that smoke exposure is higher in the bars and taverns than in the workplace. To support his claim, Tang adds, "occupational exposure to ETS [environmental tobacco smoke] has been estimated to be 3.9 to 6.1 times higher among bar workers than among office workers" (611). Another important question that Tang answers in his essay is whether or not the companies or restaurants will economically suffer from the smoking laws that prohibit the employees and costumers form smoking. After many company and restaurant owners raised this question, several surveys were conducted in order to find the answer. The result showed that "the implementation(s) of the law have demonstrated that the smoke-free bar law has had no negative impact on retail sales" (Tang 611).

In addition to Tang's survey on the economic system due to the banning of public smoking, Andrew Hyland, at el., produced an essay supporting the idea that the economic system would not drop as a result of the smoking ban. However, "despite the considerable evidence that smoke-free regulations are not bad for business, policymakers continually cite that concern as a major reason for not implementing such policies, and business owners are hesitant to implement them on their own" (Hyland 10). As a result, more research and evidence is needed in order to gain the support of the policymakers. Hyland's article offers such evidence and also supports the related evidence identified in Shepard's article and the articles titled "Secondhand Smoke Exposure among Middle and High School Students," and "Observational Survey of Smoking Provisions in Food Service Establishments." Hyland's article states that "bars and restaurants experienced no negative sales or employment effects from smoke-free regulations" (Hyland 10). In addition, the article continues by stating "hospitality workers experience substantial exposure to secondhand smoke and they are at considerable risk for lung cancer, and that workers' respiratory health improves following imposition of regulations that restrict smoking in hospitality operations" (Hyland 9). Although Hyland gives support to this information, the policymakers still require more research before implementing a ban on public smoking.

Another article that gives support to Tang and Hyland's article is by John Rather. Rather's article discusses the poll that the Tobacco Action Coalition of Long Island took in August of 2003. The poll revealed that a smoking ban in bars and restaurants would have a vast amount of public support. In addition, it revealed that the patronage would not decrease, but instead increase. A total of 1,001 Long Island citizens were polled and "twenty-five percent said they would dine out more often if smoking were banned in restaurants, while sixty-five percent said their dining habits would not change. Nine percent said they would eat out less" (Rather 7). An implied smoking ban in the bars generated the same results. Only twelve percent would quit going to the bars, while nineteen percent would go more often. Surprisingly sixty-eight percent's habits would remain the same. The same poll also displayed that sixty-one to thirty-six percent would support such a ban on restaurants, bars, and taverns. Obviously, from the results of this survey, the citizens of Long Island are in strong support of a smoking ban. This type of public support has begun to expand across the nation and as a result more and more cities are starting to implement bans on smoking.

While the issue of placing a smoking ban on all public places is still in much debate, it is slowly gaining support and being placed into effect. The previously discussed author's all view the public smoking ban as an important measure to protect human health. The article titled "Secondhand Smoke Exposure among Middle and High School Students," in addition with Shephard, Tang, and Hylands articles, strongly oppose the negative health risks that secondhand smoking has every on individual that comes in contact with it. The article "Observational Survey of Smoking Provisions in Food Service Establishments- Southeast Health District, Georgia, 2001" and Hao Tang focus on the amount of concentrated secondhand smoke in restaurants, bars, and taverns. In these articles the smoke not only affects the customers, but also affects the employees. Another view discussed by authors Tang, Hyland and Rather is the economic effects the smoking ban would cause. Each of the author's research verified that the public would not stop attending public places such as restaurants and bars, but would actually increase their visits. In addition, Gecker and Frumkin explain how and why the number of cities and states were steadily executing the smoking ban in public places. While each author presented their own views and research supporting these views, each author supported one another. The material presented by each of thee scholars make it is obvious that the issue of banning public smoking has a vast amount of support behind it. In addition, this support will increase the movement of the much-needed ban on public smoking across the United States.

Works Cited

Frumkin, Paul. "Fired Up: NE States Wrestle with Smoking Measures." Nation's Restaurant News 37.25 (2003): 4& 46.

Gecker, Rachel. "U.S. Cities Put Out Smokers." Successful Meetings 52 (2003): 14.

Hyland, Andrew, Vanaja Puli, Michael Cummings, and Russ Sciandra. "New York's

Smoke-Free Regulations: Effects on Employment and Sales in the Hospitality Industry." Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly 44 (2003): 9-16.

"Observational Survey of Smoking Provisions in Food Service Establishments - Southeast Health District, Georgia, 2001." Morbidity and Morality Weekly Report 52 (2003): 307-9.

Rather, John. "Extended Smoking Ban Supported, Poll Says." The New York Times, Long Island 18 Aug. 2003:7. Oklahoma State University Microfilms.

"Secondhand Smoke Exposure among Middle and High School Students." Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report 52 (2003): 152-54.

Shephard, Roy J. The Risks of Passive Smoking. New York: Oxford UP, 1982.

Tang, Hao, David W. Cowling, Jon C. Lloyd: Todd Rogers, et al. "Changes of Attitudes and Patronage Behaviors in Response to a Smoke-Free Bar Law." American Journal of Public Health 93 (2003): 611-17.

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