Do you agree with New York's ban on smoking in bars and restaurants?

Essay by athorn343 October 2007

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In my opinion, New York's smoking ban is a good start in preventing non-smokers from getting health related sicknesses from secondhand smoke in the future. The U.S. Surgeon General released a report stating that there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. The report also concludes that eliminating smoking in all indoor spaces is the only way to fully protect nonsmokers from exposure to secondhand smoke.

Researchers have been doing extensive study over the years to prove that secondhand smoke is a health hazard. We now know that 53,800 people die every year from secondhand smoke exposure. "This number is based on the midpoint numbers for heart disease deaths (48,500), lung cancer deaths (3,000), and SIDS deaths (2,300) as calculated in the 1997 California EPA Report on Secondhand Smoke. And children are at significant risk to many acute and chronic diseases as a result of secondhand smoke exposure", Secondhand smoke report, by Center for Disease Control.

However these reports have been refuted by studies paid for and funded by the tobacco industry.

Almost every smoke free ordinance campaign includes a discussion on the economic impact of smoke free laws. The tobacco industry and their front groups love to claim that smoke free laws have a negative effect on business, especially on the hospitality sector. In fact, for several decades they have been claiming that businesses will lose "30%" of their profits.

However, every legitimate economic study ever done has shown no negative impact, and in a few cases, studies have shown a positive impact. Only studies commissioned or supported by the tobacco industry have shown a negative impact. It is now clear that workplaces that have adopted smoke free air policies reap great economic benefits from those policies. In fact, the only negative economic effect that smoke...