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It was proved that passive smoking has adverse effects on health and causes different diseases, disability, and even death. The health risks attributed to passive smoking only become evident after the prolonged exposure to cigarette smoke. However, there is a scientific consensus that a contact of a typical non-smoker with second hand smoke is enough to inflict heavy damages on his health. They include lung, breast or pancreatic cancer, ear, nose and threat infections, and heart disease (Samet, 2008). The young and unborn children are put at higher risk. It is therefore clear that the legislative measures that have been put in place to protect non-smokers from the second hand smoke are inadequate to guarantee their safety.
There are laws that regulate smoking in government workplaces in at least 41 states in the United States. However, the regulation of smoking in private workplaces has only been effected in 21 states. According to this regulation, smoking is allowed only in designated smoking areas that have separate ventilation. The law needs to be extended to cover all working places including private firms. However, this can only be done by transferring the duties to create legislation on smoking to the federal government rather than to the individual states. Moreover, this should be done as soon as possible since smoking affects public health. Currently, the penalties for non-compliance with smoking regulations only consist of fines. The penalties should be stricter and include jail terms, since exposing others to second-hand smoke is essentially endangering their health and lives.
Smoking along the streets should also be prohibited, and special designated areas should be constructed along the major streets. Such areas should be at a considerable distance from the roads and public pavements. Smoking in such places as child day care centers and schools that puts non-smokers at a high risk of being affected should be prohibited.
The need to protect non-smokers from involuntary smoking cannot be ignored. Therefore, implementation of various strict policies will go a long way to the realization of this task.
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