Sunday, February 6, 2011

Goodbye, Smelly Smoke

"After a bitter debate over individual liberties and the role of government, the City Council on Wednesday handily approved a bill to ban smoking in 1,700 city parks and along 14 miles of city beaches. By a 36-to-12 vote, the Council passed the most significant expansion of anti-smoking laws since Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg pushed to prohibit smoking in restaurants and bars in 2002. (Smoking Ban for Beaches and Parks is Approved)"

As a nonsmoker and person who cannot stand the smell of cigarettes, this is a great law to be passed. However, I'm skeptic of how well it will be enforced. What are the police going to do, have police officers at every park and beach patrolling for people lighting up a cigarette? I think this is a great idea since second hand smoke has been shown to be very harmful but I just do not think that this law will be able to be enforced. Similarly, the law that banned smoking in bars and restaurants is not extremely hard to get around. I've been to many restaurants where there were people smoking and no one said anything to them. While I think that it's great that the government is trying to improve the standard of living and health by banning smoking in a few public places, I do not think it's enough. The only way to ban smoking in areas such as these is to stop making cigarettes and outlaw them. If there were no cigarettes, people could not smoke at the park or on the beach. However, that would never work either. It would turn into a black market just like what happened with alcohol when it was banned. In an ideal solution, the production of cigarettes would be stopped so no more people could become addicted to them and the people still alive that are addicted to them could have some sort of patch that gave them the nicotine through their skin so they did not have to danger people with their secondhand smoke. But this solution would never go through in our society.

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