The Freedom to Breathe Clean and Unpolluted Air

The issue of smoking has become a hot topic for research due to recently documented side effects of second hand smoking on non-smokers. Numerous reports have unearthed the appalling effects of seemingly “harmless” second hand smoking on non-smokers. It has been suggested that a second hand smoker is at greater risk of developing lung cancer and breast cancer because she/he is exposed to two kinds of smoke: mainstream smoke (cigarette smoke) and side-stream smoke (smoke exhaled by the cigarette smoker). The main aim of this paper is to address the effects of the Freedom to Breathe provisions on both non-smokers and smokers. In essence, it will attempt to sample out pros and cons of this law in light of the smokers as well as non-smokers.


The main ingredient of the cigarettes is tobacco. It contains over 6500 chemicals. Over 200 of them are harmful and approximately 70 of them are known carcinogens but most of all, it contains the vastly addictive nicotine. Numerous studies have been conducted on the effect of these chemical toxins on the smokers and the second hand smokers. According to the Disease Control and Prevention Centers (2010), around 45 million people in the USA are smokers. Smoking is the foremost cause of preventable deaths; it is responsible for 1 of every 5 deaths. Also, the IARC, A WHO agency, reported in 2009 that secondary smoking was the leading cause of increased cases of breast, throat, and lung cancer. Therefore, the FTB law was supported by many non-smokers, as it concerned the the effects of smoking in work and public places. This law seems to be more beneficial than harmful.


The FTB law is very limiting and prohibitive to smokers; it clearly stipulates that they are not allowed to smoke in enclosed spaces as well as work places. It is aimed at protecting the non-smokers. However, it does not prohibit smoking in private areas. Thus, it does not arm-twist regular smokers as it allows smoking in private residential places or farmyards. It prohibits smoking in work places, so that employees should not hold their breaths to keep main-stream and side-stream smoke out of their lungs.

In regard to health, the law is keen to reduce local pollution caused by smoking. It will trim down the number of acquired diseases related to toxic smoke contracted by non-smokers living with smokers, e.g. pulmonary diseases such as emphysema and aforementioned cancer.   

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