There is no doubt that smoking has been a topic of debate for so many years already. And in a country where freedom of choice is a basic right, you can’t expect all smokers to quit the habit no matter how many people are against it. However, parties against smoking argue that smokers should not be affecting other people with the harmful effects of cigarettes through secondhand smoke and believe smoking must be banned in public places. Will it really help to lessen tensions among smokers and anti-smokers? Maybe weighing the pros and cons of the idea can help with the answer.
List of Pros of Smoking in Public Places
1. It allows businesses to not lose paying customers.
Restaurants, cafes, bars, and other commercial establishments know that a big chunk of their client base includes people who smoke. Smoking is already banned in most indoor facilities so businesses are in danger of losing a large portion of their customers. But by allowing people to smoke in public places outside the establishment, smokers can still visit the place because they won’t feel ‘restricted’ by not being able to smoke. This means businesses won’t have to lose their paying smoking clients.
2. It provides venues for socializing.
It is normal for a smoker to experience being approached by a stranger who asks for a cigarette or a light. These encounters have allowed some people to meet new friends. Of course, smokers can meet new people even when they’re not smoking, but meeting a fellow smoker in a common ‘comfort zone’ could make it easier for them since they already know they have something in common. And it is less likely they will be judged by that person for their ‘nasty’ habit. For office workers who smoke, taking a smoke break at a nearby public place allows them to leave their desks and stretch their legs for a bit and socialize with their colleagues as well.
3. It will prevent ‘cigarette smell’ in indoor facilities.
Some establishments have an exclusive smoking section indoors. However, no matter how tightly sealed those areas are, the smell and smoke from cigarettes will find a way to seep into the other rooms of the facility. This can turn off other clients and ruin the interior quality of the establishment. So it is better for smoking customers to light a stick outside where the smoke and smell can be aired. This is also true for homeowners and car owners who don’t want to decrease the cost value of their property due to cigarette smell.
List of Cons of Smoking in Public Places
1. It is dangerous to health.
Since smoking is done in a public place, there is a higher risk that more people will be affected by secondhand smoke.
2. It is illegal.
There are many parks and buildings that ban smoking in public, and breaking this law results to heavy fines. Some establishments and public outdoor areas also don’t have written warnings posted in the vicinity, so it isn’t clear where smoking is and isn’t allowed, so smokers have to guess and take the risk of possibly breaking the law.
3. It can be a negative influence.
Smoking, whether in public or private, is looked down upon by a lot of people. A lot of individuals believe that if smokers are allowed to light up in public, they can negatively affect younger people to also take up the habit.
So, is it better to allow or ban smoking in public places? Which do you think has more pros and cons?