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Public smoking exposes non-smokers to cigarette smoke. It occurs involuntarily and is known as a secondhand smoke (Romp, 2011). Secondhand smoke has various health hazards to people who do not use tobacco (Christensen, 2003). In some circumstances, its effects are similar to those experienced in smokers. Secondhand smoke in enclosed places has almost same effects as smoking. It results in involuntary smoking and thus causing detrimental health effects.
Tobacco affects people in varying ways. This occurs because human bodies react to foreign substances differently due to the differences in the genes (Oaks, 2001). Either way, effects of secondary smoke should be avoided since it occurs involuntarily (Kabat, 2008). Many of the non-smokers do so voluntarily. They do so due to various reasons most of which are health related. Bans on public smoking thus should be implemented to protect innocent people from smoke related health dangers (Romp, 2011). Various health complications, which may even lead to death, are caused by secondhand smoke.
Effects in infants
Severe health effects occur in infants because of secondhand smoke. This is attributed mainly to their tender bodies, which cannot withstand the smoke (Oaks, 2001). These effects are so serious that they even lead to the death in some cases. A myriad of complications occur in infants because of public smoking (Kabat, 2008). Apart from causing death, effects of the secondhand smoke cause various detrimental consequences (Christensen, 2003). Some of these effects affect the individual even in adulthood.
Secondhand smoke increases risk of asthma in infants. The smoke affects the respiratory system and thus causing asthmatic reactions (Romp, 2011). Asthmatic children, who are exposed to smoke, experience more serious asthmatic conditions. This occurs because of the chemicals in the smoke, which interfere with respiration (Romp, 2011). Serious asthmatic attacks can lead to death in infants. Secondhand smoke triggers such attacks and thus may lead to death of infants. Infants in families where smoking occurs get such attacks more often than in families of non-smokers.
It also results in sudden infant death syndrome (Oaks, 2001). The smoke causes complications in the lungs resulting in death. This is very common in the US and other countries where smoking is widely practiced. The syndrome may also occur due to a combination of complications in the system of the infant (Romp, 2011). The chemical in the smoke triggers these complications. Secondhand smoke causes over four hundred deaths of infants in the US per year (Kabat, 2008). This unwanted loss of innocent lives calls for action against the secondhand smoke. This can be reduced by banning public smoking hence such bans are welcome.
The smoke exposes these young ones to the lung infections (Romp, 2011). These result in diseases such as bronchitis. These diseases cause serious health conditions, which are even fatal to infants. The infections increase the risks of contracting tuberculosis in infants (Christensen, 2003). Various infections thus occur because of the lung infections. Even not taken care of, these infants may end up dying. It also causes impairment in the breathing system. This occurs mainly because the smoke has the effect of slowing the growth of the lungs (Kabat, 2008).
The smoke has other various effects in infants. It is known to cause allergies in infants. They occur due to the reaction against chemicals such as nicotine present in the smoke (Romp, 2011). It also affects the nervous system of the young (Kabat, 2008). This causes nervous disorders, which are carried on even to the adulthood. These may cause difficulties in learning and coordination as well. Its effects are also known to cause the middle ear infections. This is related to the effects caused by the smoke to the lungs. Such serious health issues cannot be overlooked. This calls for bans on public smoking since it will help to reduce such cases.
Smoke is a major cause of the cancer today. It is mainly associated with lung cancer (Oaks, 2001). It also causes the breast cancer and more so on women who have not yet reached the menopause (Kabat, 2008). Secondhand smoke is a significant contributor of cancer cases. Passive smoking damages lungs of non-smokers leading to complications, which result in cancer. This is attributed to chemicals present in the smoke, more so nicotine (Christensen, 2003). It damages the lung tissues resulting in cancerous cells. Passive smoking is also known to be a major cause of brain tumors in non-smokers. Cancer is difficult to cure particularly in its later stages. Today cancer is one of the major killers and most deaths are smoke related. This calls for ban of public smoking to protect those who do not use the product (Oaks, 2001).
Secondhand smoke results in coronary diseases in non-smokers. This occurs mainly to those exposed to the smoke in enclosed places. Smoke is known to cause obesity and thus resulting in the heart complications (Kabat, 2008). This smoke also increases the risk of stroke upon exposure. Stroke causes deaths and thus involuntary smoke may result in deaths. The smoke also increases the heart rate in people particularly in those with heart problems (Kabat, 2008). This increases the risk of heart attack and deaths of people exposed to the secondhand smoke.
Passive smoking causes premature birth (Oaks, 2001). This occurs when a mother is exposed to the smoke while pregnant. Premature births may be a reason of the death of newborns. Passive smoking of pregnant mothers also leads to the birth of underweight babies. It also affects the spine of the fetus during its development. This results in back pains of the victims during their adulthood (Oaks, 2001).
Tobacco business is known to create huge revenues to governments. However, the gains are eroded by the health implications of smoking. Cancers and other diseases caused by smoking are difficult to treat (Christensen, 2003). They require expensive equipments thus call for significant investments. A big fraction of health budgets in many countries are devoted to treatment of these diseases. To reduce these economic effects, ban on public smoking is needed. This will reduce the number of such diseases hence saving the governments’ money (Kabat, 2008).
Passive smoking has various health effects to non-smokers. They are similar to those experienced by smokers. This results in people involuntarily suffering from smoke related diseases. These diseases have negative impacts to human health (Kabat, 2008). They lead to millions deaths annually in various countries. They also account for large amounts of medical expenditure. I therefore agree that smoking in public places should be banned because of the health risks for non-smokers.
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