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Your Addiction is Killing Me: Why People Shouldn’t Smoke in Public by Sophia Fantoni

If you are a smoker,  the issue is not if you get cancer; it’s when you get cancer. Smoking is absolutely awful for you, but most people don’t think of the consequences and the pain they are putting their body through. In fact, when you smoke outside you are hurting other people just by smoking in a different area. You are not only ruining your life, but the lives around you.

Smoking is not only unhealthy to smokers, but also to the people around them. For the smoker, it would make no difference to smoke in public than to smoke at home. On the other hand, when the smoker decides to light up a cigarette outside, it affects the people around them. As a result, the people in the vicinity of the smoker are now being affected just because of the smoker’s addiction. The smoker has put other people’s health in danger. For example, Quitter’s Circle, a website made by the American Lung Association and Pfizer to help smokers quit smoking, says that “Secondhand smoke–whether it’s from a neighbor’s burning cigarette or from a cigarette outside your window–has shown to have instant effect on the cardiovascular system of nearby individuals.” Therefore, the same is true when you breath in smoke wherever you go. Just by breathing in cigarette smoke your health is slightly impacted. When I walk by a smoker, and smell the vile smell of cigarette smoke, my head starts to throb and I become nauseous. That feeling stays with me for a few hours, making my day less enjoyable than it should have been. This proves that just because of an addiction someone else has it’s affecting people in our everyday lives.

Some have thought that when people smoke it won’t affect other people unless they are in an enclosed area, like a room. And yet, they are wrong. If someone is smoking outside or in an enclosed area the people around the smoker are still being affected. In fact, just by being in the same room as a smoker, it will affect you more because the smoke will stay in the room for a while forcing you to breath in smoke. But nevertheless, when you are outside it still is affecting you, because you are still breathing in the smoke. Consequently, breathing in cigarette smoke will affect your cardiovascular system.

At the same time, smoking in public can make a new smoker out of someone else. In fact, if an adolescent sees someone smoke–most kids see people smoke almost everyday wherever they go–they may think it’s okay for them to do just the same. They will think it’s okay to smoke and won’t know the consequences of their actions and what will happen in the long run. For example, Tobacco-Free Kids, an organization that has been working for 20 years to prevent kids from smoking, says that “Kids are more susceptible to cigarette advertising and marketing than adults. 83.4 percent of youth smokers (12-17) prefer Marlboro, Newport, and Camel (the three most heavily advertised brands), while only 61.1 percent of smokers (26 or older) prefer these brands.” This fact demonstrates how kids are being sucked into the smoking world. They see smoking as a cool thing to do and think that they should give it a try. Furthermore, kids are being attacked by cigarette brands. The brands are trying to draw them in, knowing that the kids are more likely to be influenced than adults. The advertisers are first drawing the kids in, but when kids see people smoking almost everyday, it makes it more enticing. As a result, more and more kids are being sucked into the habit of smoking because of what they see in public and on the media.

Lastly, it is like smokers are at war with society using their litter as weapons.  In fact, cigarettes have many things in common with weapons; weapons hurt people, are dangerous, leave bullet shells on the ground (like leaving cigarette butts on the ground), and leave smoke in the air. When smokers are done smoking they just leave their cigarette butts on the ground. The world is not their ashtray. Smokers can’t just drop their weapons (cigarette butts) on the ground like it doesn’t matter. It does matter! When I am walking in New York, I can’t help but notice the cigarette butts that cover the street. I mean they really aren’t that hard to miss. Every step I take, I step on a part of a weapon. It’s like they are part of the sidewalk. Like they are supposed to be there. In my eyes I see the ground as if it is a battlefield covered in debris left from weapons after war. Hence, cigarette butts are slowly covering and destroying planet earth’s surface. The beautiful green plants and the magnificent oceans are being turned into people’s ashtrays, contaminated by these weapons. Therefore, smokers are at war with the places where they live and are contaminating the society around them.

When smokers smoke in public they are not only affecting themselves, but the people around them, planet earth, and children. Stop smoking in public and the world will become a better, safer place.

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