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Smoking Bans And Their Influence On Health

Not too long ago, smoking was considered a perfectly healthy past-time that people were proud to engage in publicly. It was associated with being ‘cool’, ‘manly’ or ‘sexy’ which meant that people, even those below the legal age, wanted to do it. Unfortunately, it was discovered that smoking increases the risks of cancer and other diseases which led many countries to institute smoking bans. This essay looks at some of the impacts that has had on health.

Mental Health and Modeled Behaviors

Many people who started smoking in their youth did so because the majority of their friends were doing it. This meant that they saw it and recognized that it was the easiest way to become firmly ingrained in the social group. People who feel excluded experience mental anguish that can be unhealthy as it leads to anxiety and depression. By making it illegal for smoking to take place in public enclosed places, people who might have felt pressured to engage in the habit now experience some relief.

Physical Health of Non Smokers and Second Hand Smoke

Aside from feeling like they are being pressured to participate, non smokers often faced the risk of being exposed to the second hand smoke produced by those around them. The smoke is dangerous when first inhaled but can become even more so when exhaled. This puts them at an even higher risk of lung problems than the smokers they are around. These bans make it possible for people who wish to remain unexposed to those toxins to select the non smoking section of any places they visit.

Physical Health of Smokers Switching to alternatives

In general, smoking bans are meant to make the lives of non smokers more comfortable but they have also made many smokers switch to alternatives. Electronic cigarettes produce no smoke which allows them to be used in non smoking areas. They produce fewer toxins so that ‘smokers’ can still enjoy a version of their pastime while staying on the right side of the law and getting marginally healthier.

The use of bans can be more or less effective depending on many factors including the consistency with which they are upheld.. A population that feels certain that they can get away with smoking anywhere will do so and remain as prone to lung cancers as if the ban had not been enacted.

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