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Smokers or Non-smokers: Who Should Make the Sacrifice?

             People who smoke in today's society are directly affecting the health and personal rights of both smokers and non-smokers around them. There are several factors that help support the idea that smoking should be banned in all public places. The main reasons for this are: it restricts the rights of non-smokers, it is dangerous to the body, it exposes children to smoking, and it has the potential to possibly decrease the number of smokers. In a recent poll from the St. Petersberg Times, 73% of current smokers, 92% of ex-smokers, 94% of people who have never smoked, and 88% of all adults believe that smoking should be banned in restaurants. As shown by the poll, a large number of non-smokers as well as many smokers believe that a ban should be placed on smoking. .
             One reason smoking should be banned from all public places is because it forces smokers and non-smokers alike to inhale second-hand smoke against their will. Second-hand smoke expert Jim Repace says, "You can prove deteriorating health and point to the deaths of workers in the hospitality industry who have been exposed to passive smoking by their job." A poll provided by the Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News shows that 55% of non-smokers interviewed mind if people smoke around them, 23% said it affected their breathing, 21% had irritated eyes, and 23% were forced to cough. These non-smoking customers and workers are forced to breathe this smoke, and it is affecting their health, well-being, and personal rights as citizens. .
             Someone opposed to banning smoking in public may suggest that it strips smokers of their rights. Expert Earnest Hooper argues that smokers are becoming "second-class citizens" and that non-smokers have more rights than they do. A group that supports smokers rights argues that "individuals should have the freedom to smoke, or not, as long as the product is legal." People should, and still do, have the right to smoke since it is legal.

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