The Sand Bunker

Just another Blog by anDru

Ban on Smoking

It is good to know that many countries are taking drastic to discourage people from smoking but despite all those efforts, many people fail to give up the habit and in fact new smokers are increasing by the day. Smokers burn millions of dollars everyday just to satisfy their addiction and while doing that they are also endanger themselves to cancer related disease. Here is one article I found that may make it possible to ban smoking by starting at public areas.

It seemed impossible at first. But in 2004, Ireland made history as the first country to implement a comprehensive smoking ban in indoor workplaces, including restaurants and bars. Defying dire predictions, Ireland’s policy has proved to be both popular and enforceable, with ready compliance, no decline in business, and improved health outcomes for hospitality workers. Overwhelmingpublic support for the ban has come from smokers and nonsmokers alike, dispelling the belief that restaurants and bars shouldrepresent bastions of smoking and socialization. For a country traditionally known for its smoke-filled pubs, the new societalstandard represents a breathtaking (or breath-enhancing) revolution.

Historians may someday view Ireland’s bold move as a tipping point for global public health. Previous actions worldwide hadstemmed from mounting scientific evidence, summarized most recently in the 2006 U.S. Surgeon General’s report, confirming thatexposure to secondhand smoke leads to premature death and disease, including lung cancer and ischemic heart disease. For example, in 1998, California became the first U.S. state to adopt smoke-free policies for all restaurants and bars. South Africa passed national laws in 2000 making public places smoke-free, although exemptions for bars and restaurants were allowed. Most recently, the Bloomberg Global Initiative to Reduce Tobacco Use has been funded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg with the aim of reducing tobacco use in low- and middle-income countries.

When Ireland enacted its smoke-free policy, startled observers wondered whether other countries would follow suit. The answercame within months, when New Zealand successfully implemented a comprehensive ban. Global momentum has since accelerated, with a host of additional countries enacting policies within a few years.  Most smoke-free countries are in Europe(although a number of these countries allow for the possibility of a designated, enclosed, ventilated smoking room). But othercontinents have seen activity as well: Australia and Canada are poised to join the group, and a growing number of countries are considering legislation. Though the United States lacks a federal policy, 17 states and dozens of municipalities are recognized as having smoke-free public places.

Given these developments, the world’s nearly 1.3 billion smokers deserve heightened support. Studies indicate that most smokerswant to quit but are unable to do so. Smoke-free policies remove the social stimuli that promote relapse, motivating smokersto decrease consumption and quit. But battling this addiction also requires better systems of care, including behavioral modification, counseling, pharmacologic interventions, telephone “quit lines,” and other services. Providing access to such resources, a challenge in high-income countries, is even more daunting in the developing world. Furthermore, since the addiction disproportionately burdens those of lower socioeconomic status, tobacco control must rank as a prime focus of global efforts to eliminate health disparities.

The first few years of the 21st century have made possible what was once considered impossible. In the face of an escalatingpandemic, a global haze may be starting to lift. We are witnessing a public health evolution in which the once-extraordinary israpidly becoming the social norm. Making smoking history moves us closer to reaffirming the right to the highest standard ofhuman health for all.

 

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