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Smoking Bans Going Global to Improve Health

By Expert HERWriter
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Lung Conditions related image Photo: Getty Images

Today CNN ran an article about Greece imposing a smoking ban in their country. This caught my eye because while I was in Europe this summer I was told that the European union has decided to enforce a smoking ban for the 27 countries that are included in this group. The smoking ban includes smoking in indoor spaces like restaurants and bars. I was surprised that all the countries agreed to enforce this rule because several of these countries have very high rates of people smoking. In fact, the article discusses how people in Greece associate smoking with having a good time. The article talks about a previous smoking ban in Greece that was a failure because their were no consequences to ignoring the ban. This time Greece is enforcing the ban by creating fines for the restaurant as well as the person that is smoking. The health minister noted that in order to make this ban successful people need to understand the health benefits of reducing or quitting smoking. She thinks this is the key to changing current behavioral patterns for smokers.

Here are some of the health reasons why it is better to not smoke. From a health perspective I think it is wonderful that the European nations are taking a stand for the health of their countries. For example, medical studies have proven the health risk of cigarette smoking for many diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) smoking has been associated with 90 percent of lung cancer deaths for men and 80 percent of lung cancer cases for women. Cigarette smoking increases the risks of coronary artery disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm, peripheral vascular disease, emphysema and bronchitis. It impacts fertility and birth outcomes like preterm delivery, stillbirth, low birth weight, and sudden infant death syndrome. It increases the risk of several types of cancers such as acute myeloid leukemia, lung cancer, stomach cancer, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, and cancers of the larynx, pharynx, cervix, esophagus, cancer, pancreas, mouth, and the uterus. Smoking clearly impacts health in a negative way.

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If the public was honestly and truthfully informed about the effects of second-hand smoke, there would be fewer no-smoking laws in this country.
A little smoke from a handful of crushed leaves and some paper that is mixed with the air of a decently ventilated venue is going to harm or kill you?

There has never been a single study showing that exposure to the low levels of smoke found in bars and restaurants with decent modern ventilation and filtration systems kills or harms anyone.

As to the annoyance of smoking, a compromise between smokers and non-smokers can be reached, through setting a quality standard and the use of modern ventilation technology.

Air ventilation can easily create a comfortable environment that removes not just passive smoke, but also and especially the potentially serious contaminants that are independent from smoking.

(Link removed by EmpowHER Moderator.)

September 2, 2010 - 8:20pm

Another interesting note is that the CDC is recommending that movies with cigarette smoking should be rated "R."


September 2, 2010 - 12:28pm
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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