Smoking tobacco has long been an accepted form of recreational drug use despite a history of flip-flops of public opinion. The negative effects of smoking were not thought of or even known until the early 1900’s. (“Introduction to Smoking”) Over the last few decades there has been an ever increasing surge in the United States and all over the world to ban smoking in public places. The goals of these smoking bans are to prevent the numerous diseases and health complications that are produced from exposure to the toxic smoke and to improve the overall health of society. Some disagree with these motives by claiming that smoking bans have not actually saved any lives or prevented people from taking up the habit. Contrarily, global research now
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It wasn’t until much later, in the late 1800’s, that cigarette smoking became widespread; this is about the time that cigarettes were beginning to be mass-produced mechanically. Health concerns started to rise as cigarette smoking became more common. These concerns led to 14 states making it illegal to sell cigarettes. Around that same time the U.S. Supreme Court deemed the act of smoking to be detrimental to health (“Introduction to Smoking”). Several years later, “Smoking [was] depicted in advertisements and movies as glamorous and romantic”. (Smoking Timeline) This led the negative public opinion of smoking to ease. It wasn’t until 1964 that the public opinion of smoking again began to turn to the negative side. This was due to the first report by the Surgeon General which linked smoking tobacco to lung cancer. ("Smoking: Habit Persists”)
The negative effects of smoking are devastating. In the United States of America alone “there are…approximately 440,000 smoking-related deaths per year…and not all of these victims are smokers” (“Topic Overview: Smoking”); combine this with the fact that smoking is linked to the deaths of one million people each year in China and it’s quite easy to see the severity of the situation at hand (“Ban Takes Effect”: Lincoln Courier). A statement made by the American Cancer Society asserts “about one in five women who get lung cancer have never smoked”.