America is a country that's based on freedom. People have certain rights as citizens, but those rights are limited if they begin to harm others. For example, people have the right to smoke cigarettes if they want to, but when their smoking is harming others, shouldn't it be against the law? For many years now, there has been many organizations and governments that have reported secondhand smoke is very harmful to nonsmokers (Secondhand 1). About one thousand or more people die annually in Great Britain because of secondhand smoke (Hope 1). Here in America, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that about 3,000 nonsmokers die each year from lung cancer obtained from being exposed to secondhand smoke (Workplace 1). The American Heart Associations says about 35,000 nonsmokers die each year with heart problems associated with secondhand smoke (Haney 1). Between 150,000 and 300,000 children less than 18 months old get pneumonia or bronchitis due to secondhand smoke each year (The Truth 1). These numbers are very startling, and there should be something done to try to reduce them. Even after all of the evidence found today, some people still say "I"m not harming anyone by smoking but myself, so why should you care?" Smoking should be banned all together in public places such as government buildings, stores, restaurants, theaters and workplaces. Health considerations are the number one reason why it should be banned, but banning smoking could also help businesses financially.
Restaurants and other places have tried to deal with the smoking issue by assigning certain sections where smoking is allowed and other sections where it is prohibited. All this does is allow people to eat freely without smoke in their face. The smell is still there, the harmful agents are still there, and the workers still have to come directly in contact with it. Also, the tobacco industry has tried to convince people that ventilation systems would take care of the problem (Safework 1).