WASHINGTON — Separate smoking sections don’t cut it: Only smoke-free buildings and public places truly protect nonsmokers from the hazards of breathing in other people’s tobacco smoke, says a long-awaited surgeon general’s report.
Don't miss these Health stories
- More women opting for preventive mastectomy - but should they be?
Rates of women who are opting for preventive mastectomies, such as Angeline Jolie, have increased by an estimated 50 percent in recent years, experts say. But many doctors are puzzled because the operation doesn't carry a 100 percent guarantee, it's major surgery -- and women have other options, from a once-a-day pill to careful monitoring.
- Larry Page's damaged vocal cords: Treatment comes with trade-offs
- Report questioning salt guidelines riles heart experts
- CDC: 2012 was deadliest year for West Nile in US
- What stresses moms most? Themselves, survey says
- More women opting for preventive mastectomy - but should they be?
Some 126 million nonsmokers are exposed to secondhand smoke, what U.S. Surgeon General Richard Carmona repeatedly calls “involuntary smoking” that puts people at increased risk of death from lung cancer, heart disease and other illnesses.
Moreover, there is no risk-free level of exposure to someone else’s drifting smoke, declares the report issued Tuesday — a conclusion sure to fuel already growing efforts at public smoking bans nationwide. Fourteen states have passed what are considered comprehensive smoke-free workplace laws, those that include restaurants and bars.
But the surgeon general is especially concerned about young children who can’t escape their parents’ addiction in search of cleaner air: Just over one in five children is exposed to secondhand smoke at home, where workplace bans don’t reach. Those children are at increased risk of SIDS, sudden infant death syndrome; lung infections such as pneumonia; ear infections; and more severe asthma.
“Exposure to secondhand smoke remains an alarming public health hazard,” Carmona said. “Nonsmokers need protection through the restriction of smoking in public places and workplaces” — and by smokers voluntarily not puffing around children.
Challenging the bans
The report won’t surprise doctors. It isn’t a new study but a compilation of the best research on secondhand smoke, the most comprehensive federal probe since the last surgeon general’s report on the topic in 1986, which declared secondhand smoke a cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers.
Since then, numerous other health agencies have linked to secondhand smoke to heart disease and other illnesses. Earlier this year, California health officials estimated that secondhand smoke kills about 3,400 nonsmoking Americans annually from lung cancer, 46,000 from heart disease, and 430 from SIDS.
The new surgeon general’s report doesn’t retally the deaths, but it cites that toll.
The tobacco industry and some businesses, particularly restaurant and bar owners concerned about loss of smoking customers, have challenged some of the broadest public smoking bans in cities and states.
The new report gives new scientific ammunition against those challenges, said Matthew Myers of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.
“There is no longer a scientific controversy that secondhand smoke is a killer,” he said. The report “eliminates any excuse from any state or city for taking halfway measures to restrict smoking, or permitting smoking in any indoor workplace.”
Among other findings:
- Separating smokers from nonsmokers, cleaning the air and ventilation systems don’t eliminate exposure to secondhand smoke.
- There is good evidence that comprehensive smoking bans, like those in New York City and Boston, don’t economically hurt the hospitality industry.
- Workplace smoking restrictions not only reduce secondhand smoke but discourage active smoking by employees.
- Secondhand smoke can act on the arteries so quickly that even a brief pass through someone else’s smoke can endanger people at high risk of heart disease. Don’t ever smoke around a sick relative, Carmona advised.
- Living with a smoker increases a nonsmoker’s risk of lung cancer and heart disease by up to 30 percent.
- There isn’t proof that secondhand smoke causes breast cancer, although the evidence is suggestive. California earlier this year cited that link in becoming the first state to declare secondhand smoke a toxic air pollutant.
- On the plus side, blood measurements of a nicotine byproduct show that exposure to secondhand smoke has decreased. Levels dropped by 75 percent in adults and 68 percent in children between the early 1990s and 2002.
However, not only has children’s exposure declined less rapidly, but levels of that byproduct among children are more than twice as high as in nonsmoking adults.
© 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Sample 1. Smoking Ban in Public Places
Tobacco as a stimulant can be used in several different ways but the most common way it is used is smoking it in the form of cigarettes. Smoking is legal in most countries in the world but in the last couple of years there have been debates about whether or not smokers should be allowed to smoke anywhere they want. It is common knowledge that the ban of smoking in public places is majorly for the protection of non smokers from the side effects of smoking, but there are other factors which inform the decision to impose a ban on smoking in public places (Robbins 38). This paper seeks to investigate both the benefits and side effects of smoking in public and finally argue a case for or against the ban on smoking in public places.
Proponents of the ban of smoking in public places argue that because not everyone is a smoker, the smell of cigarette smoke is offensive to non-smokers. They also cite the health effects that second hand cigarette smoke has on the non-smokers who are fond of being around smokers. Some radical proposers to the ban, who also support a total ban on the use of tobacco, further cite the effects that smoking has on the health of the smokers themselves. On the other hand, opponents of the ban argue that if smoking in public places should be illegal then cigarettes would be illegal or contraband products. They also argue that smoking ban in public places is an infringement into their particular rights as people who engage in a legitimate act. Another reason why smokers feel offended by ban in public smoking is the fact that smoking as a practice is protected by the law and as it stands, they are engaging in a legal activity which should not be interfered with. Some of them go as far as arguing that there are more harmful environmental hazards like industrial smoke, motor vehicles exhaust fumes and smoke resulting from the burning of trash or garbage (Sloan 85). These, they argue, have greater environmental effects than just smoking. Some opponents also say that the general public has no reason to think that everybody’s natural goal is or must be to maximise their lifespan.
There are several economic benefits directly attached to the production and sale of tobacco in many parts of the world. Tobacco has been known to support agricultural output, earn several countries foreign revenue for being a major export commodity, provide income for households, and generate both direct and indirect employment in many countries. For instance, in Greece, the northern parts of the country are mostly mountainous and do not support much agriculture other than tobacco cultivation. In fact, it is deemed as one of the most profitable and stable segments of the agriculture sector in Greece earning the farmers an average of 7,000 – 10,000 euro per hectare and during the recent economic downturn, only 25% of the total jobs lost were lost in the tobacco industry (Hahn et al, 2009). Tobacco employs most of the residents of northern Greece both directly, through cultivation of the crop, and indirectly, mainly in the processing, sales and distribution of the finished product. Other countries which benefit socio-economically from the culture of tobacco include Brazil; Malawi, in Africa; Canada; and the United States, especially the state of Kentucky.
Tobacco as a stimulant also has some health benefits. Research shows that the nicotine in tobacco as a mild stimulant acts within the nervous system to help in relaxation and reduce anxiety (Sloan, 2004). Tobacco also increases the rate of metabolism in the human body and suppresses appetite. These effects can help one to reduce body weight and keep obesity in check. Smoking has also been linked to lowering the risk of Parkinson’s disease and some forms of heart attacks.
On the flipside, research has also revealed a lot of negatives about smoking especially in public places. It has been proven that second hand smoke can cause breathing problems to non smokers (Hahn et al, 2009). This happens when a non smoker, especially one who is allergic to smoke, inhales the smoke exhaled by the smoker and the smoke reaches his or her respiratory system causing itchiness in their systems thereby causing inflammations in the lungs resulting in difficulty in breathing problems and sometimes respiratory diseases. Second hand smoke also causes eyesores especially to non smokers who are allergic to smoke (Shetty, 2009). This is as a result of smoke coming into contact with the non smoker’s eyes resulting to itching of the eyes.
Medical research has also shown that second hand smoke, just like the first smoke inhaled by the smoker, can lead to heart diseases (Shetty, 2009). The cause of heart diseases is attributed to the stimulation effect of nicotine which increases pulse rate. With time the heart develops some kind of dependency on nicotine and in the event that nicotine is lacking or in short supply, the heart’s functioning is interfered with. Smoking and exposure second hand smoke are also likely causes of several forms of cancer, but most commonly lung cancer and cervical cancer. This is as a result of the tar present in tobacco, which is capable of changing the structures of the body’s cells. This contributes to the causes of the various forms of cancer…
Sample 2. Do e-cigarettes really not so harmful for health as traditional cigarettes or this opinion has appeared due to well-thought marketing strategy?
It is known the fact that habit is quite a strong phenomenon in human life. There are many habits that are quite easy to get, it can be done even accidentally. However, it can be difficult to break a habit. As far as breaking the habit can be quite difficult, it is common practice to try not to destroy the habit at all but change it in some more positive way. Nowadays people see such positive way in e-cigarettes as alternatives to the traditional tobacco cigarettes. A popularity of e-cigarettes and their widespread image as a harmless alternative to the traditional tobacco cigarettes could be the reason why there is quite a high number of studies which consider the harmfulness of the e-cigarettes. However, even though the studies showed that in general e-cigarettes are less harmful than tobacco cigarettes, they are a quite new phenomenon from the historical view, thus their harmfulness is not conclusive.
The main and one of the most obvious argument to support harmless of the e-cigarettes is the fact that in their system it is lack of combustion. An operating principle of e-cigarettes is more like aerosol than the traditional tobacco cigarettes. This can be a reason why, compared to traditional cigarettes, e-cigarettes have less toxicant exposure for their users (Callahan-Lyon, Priscilla ii36). However, comparing e-cigarettes with the traditional cigarettes, one can notice that e-cigarettes have a more complex system and elements that are more saturated with harmful substances. This is a reason why “users and others may experience secondhand or thirdhand exposures through direct physical contact with product components, or inhaling secondhand aerosol” (Callahan-Lyon, Priscilla ii36). In this way, product components, and secondhand aerosol of e-cigarettes are more harmful to the users and others that the traditional tobacco cigarettes.
However, considering an effect of the e-cigarettes, one can say that it is more positive than the effect of the traditional tobacco cigarettes. Thus, e-cigarettes, especially those with nicotine, reduce lung function less than the traditional tobacco cigarettes (Harrell, Paul Truman et al. 4). Besides, e-cigarettes do not appear to significantly affect complete blood count, in contradistinction to tobacco cigarettes (Harrell, Paul Truman et al. 4). Moreover, “studies reported that although both e-cigarettes and tobacco cigarettes increased pulse, increased inflammatory markers, and impacted measures of myocardial function, these changes were only significant for tobacco cigarettes” (Harrell, Paul Truman et al. 4). Callahan-Lyon, Priscilla also noticed that PM emissions from e-cigarettes were fifteen times lower than emissions after use of traditional cigarettes (37). In this way, the evidence from above clearly showed that effect of the e-cigarettes could be much less harmful to health than the effect of the traditional tobacco cigarettes.
There is one more fact that must be taken into account in this context. As far as e-cigarettes are considered as less harmful than the traditional tobacco cigarettes, there is a quite high number of people who regard e-cigarettes as a safe alternative or even as aids for treatment from nicotine addiction. One must notice that such approach is not quite correct. The first and the most important fact is that e-cigarettes, even though they are less harmful than the traditional tobacco cigarettes still can harm health. Even though e-cigarettes are less harmful than the traditional cigarettes, they are not an absolutely safe alternative. Harrell, Paul Truman et al. noticed that e-cigarettes could be a less harmful source of nicotine than traditional tobacco cigarettes, “but evidence of decreased harm with long-term use is not available” (38). Considering e-cigarettes as aids for treatment from nicotine addiction one can notice that e-cigarettes are not regulated by The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as drug delivery devices, they are rather regulated as tobacco products (Ebbert, Jon O. et al. 129). Moreover, Ebbert, Jon, et al. refer to the American Heart Association, noticing that clinicians should not recommend e-cigarettes as primary cessation aids, and should advise patients to consider a quit date for using e-cigarettes and not plan to use them indefinitely (132). Thus, even if e-cigarettes are less harmful than the traditional tobacco cigarettes they can not be as aids for treatment of nicotine addiction or as a permanent safe alternative to the traditional cigarettes.
The facts from the above allow one to make a conclusion about the harmfulness of e-cigarettes. The evidence from the studies showed that complex system of e-cigarettes could have more intensive harmful substances than a system of the traditional tobacco cigarettes. In this way, e-cigarettes can be more harmful than the traditional cigarettes. However, harm from such elements are rather the accidents than a natural result of using e-cigarettes. On the contrary, the studied that compared using the traditional cigarettes and e-cigarettes showed that e-cigarettes in all respects are less harmful than the traditional tobacco cigarettes. Thus, in general, e-cigarettes are less harmful than the traditional cigarettes. However, even being less harmful than the traditional cigarettes they still are harmful and cannot be considered as aids for treatment from nicotine addiction or as the permanent safe alternative to the traditional cigarettes.
Callahan-Lyon, Priscilla. “Electronic Cigarettes: Human Health Effects.” Tobacco Control, vol 23, no. suppl 2, 2014, pp. ii36-ii40.
Ebbert, Jon O. et al. “Counseling Patients On The Use Of Electronic Cigarettes.” Mayo Clinic Proceedings, vol 90, no. 1, 2015, pp. 128-134.
Harrell, Paul Truman et al. “Electronic Nicotine Delivery Systems (‘‘E-Cigarettes’’): Review Of Safety And Smoking Cessation Efficacy.” Otolaryngology – Head And Neck Surgery, vol 151, no. 3, 2014, pp. 1-13.
It’s a proven fact that a good sample of research paper serves better than dozens of explanatory articles, so you are welcome. We just remind you that you are not allowed to use any of the information posted at our blog without proper references. If you already think that we are cruel and hate students, we are happy to prove you’re wrong. Place your order to get your own sample of research paper and put an end to all your academic troubles. Studying can be hard, but it doesn’t have to be a torture.