Recently, on a stroll through a local mall, my friend and I were forced to run to the nearest exit for a breath of fresh air. We were desperately trying not to breathe the nauseating smoke being emitted from the dozens of cigarettes dangling from the lips and fingers of fellow mall-goers, but it was to no avail. Our only other option was to wait around awhile and be carried out on a stretcher when our lungs were so full of smoke that we could not muster up the energy to make it back to our car. (OK, I admit I am exaggerating a little bit, but I hope you get my point.) I was appalled at the number of smokers I saw hanging around the mall, killing themselves and hundreds around them with their toxic smoke. There is no one age group I am targeting for this atrocity. Although I am quite disturbed to see junior high and high school students smoking when no one under eighteen is supposedly allowed by law to buy tobacco products, that is another issue entirely.
My problem is not with the age of the smokers, my problem is with the plethora of smokers polluting my air in public places. I should have the right to go shopping without being forced to cut my trip short because of sore, red eyes and a migraine brought on by cigarette smoke. If people want to smoke and slowly kill themselves, that is their prerogative. However, they can smoke in their home or in their car or outside where I can get far away from their poisonous fumes. By smoking indoors in a public building, the non-smokers are forced to breathe the harmful air. The only alternative for non-smokers is to not go shopping. That is preposterous! I have every right to visit a mall and not become ill because the air quality is so poor.
Mall owners (and others) say that regulating smoking it will hurt their businesses. I disagree. I believe that by not regulating smoking their businesses will be hurt even more. I refuse to put my health in danger and suffer unnecessarily so a smoker can enjoy his butt. If I visit a store where I am bothered by smoke, I leave, as do many of my non-smoking friends. Obviously we will not be buying anything if we are running for the nearest exit.
We citizens should not be forced to endure one more day of second-hand smoke. It is our duty as non-smokers concerned with the public health and welfare of our society to demand stricter regulations regarding smoking in public places. n
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.
Essay about The Harmful Effects of Second Hand Smoke
1141 Words5 Pages
The Harmful Effects of Second Hand Smoke
An Australian courtroom, November 2002, has banned a mother of a ten year old boy from smoking in her household (Watts). This is because of the numerous harmful effects that go along with second hand smoke. The court was protecting the child from these dangers; the mother and grandfather both admitted to smoking approximately 40 cigarettes everyday (Watts). The ruling was done by the anti-smoking lobby, and was a first for this type of case. The father of the boy brought this case to court not only because of his concerns for his son, but also because of his son’s complaints about the vast amount of smoke which existed in his household. The boy also stated that he dreaded going…show more content…
Children exposed to second hand smoke have a higher risk of developing diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, ear infections, and allergies. For women, second hand smoke increases their risk of heart attacks (Page). Many say that second hand smoke is more harmful than first hand smoke. This is because only 15% of smoke is inhaled by smokers; the other 85% is in the air for nonsmokers to inhale, whether they want to or not (Page). The dangers that result from second hand smoke include: cancer, asthma, lung infections, emphysema, heart disease, pneumonia, ear infections, strokes, sinus infections, nose ear and throat discomfort, nausea, headaches and dizziness. Twenty percent of the population is at risk for obtaining lung disease due to second hand smoke, and for those who live with a smoker, there is a thirty percent increase of getting lung cancer or heart attacks (Page). Nonsmokers can even have carcinogens found in their blood. The bottom line remains: when somebody smokes, everyone around is effected.
. There are two types of second hand smoke, both which cause dangers for those around them. These types are mainstream smoke and sidestream smoke (Page). Mainstream smoke refers to the smoke inhaled and exhaled by the smoker. This is most likely the most common type that people are exposed to. The other type, sidestream smoke, is the smoke that comes from a cigarette or cigar burning from an ashtray. This