Smoking
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Cigarettes are a huge part of many people’s lives and a familiar sight in today’s world. The Mayan civilisation chewed tobacco leaves and smoked, but they also mixed the tobacco leaves with other plants and herbs to make medicines. Columbus was probably the first European to see tobacco leaves and the first one to introduce tax on tobacco was King James I of England. 

Even though tobacco was very much enjoyed in the ancient world, the first health warnings began in the 1950s. Today, the tobacco industry receives negative publicity and the people are informed about the addictive and deadly effects of smoking. In spite of all the warnings, a good cigarette is enjoyed by many around the world.

What do you believe, should Smoking be banned permanently?


I do not like smoking. However, I do have a thing for the smell of cigars on a guy's clothe! I really like that smell! It actually makes me want you know what lol

When I was in elementary, I tried smoking just to look cool at my age that time. That is one of my regrets these days because smoking only destroyed my health. I was so thankful that I was able to stopped it.

I've smoked since I was around 12yrs old, both my parents were smokers and I thought it was cool, I am 45 now. I was smoking 2 packs a day up until Thanksgiving morning 2013. I woke up got my coffee and fired up my first cig. of the day and it was my last. I went into a coughing fit that lasted almost an hour. I coughed up a fist full of the blackest foulest smelling stuff that you ever seen. That scared me really bad. I went and bought an electronic e-cig starter kit and tried that. Now I only use vapor and I am a lot better off for it. It has been over 2yrs now and I don't have that hacking smokers cough anymore and I have slowly regained my stamina at work and at play.

Im trying to stop smoking.. its soo hard. :( I dont know how many times ive tried. If the patch was just a bit less it would be very helpful

Trying to quit is always a huge problem Sandra. Try not to beat yourself up too much, take it one day at a time and see how it goes. I wish you all the best with it.

One of the things I dislike about Japan is they allow people to smoke INSIDE the restaurant. Sometimes they'll separate the restaurant and have a "smoking" and "non-smoking" area, but for small restaurants, there usually isn't that option. It really sucks. I don't want to be eating while inhaling second hand smoke.

That sounds terrible! All restaurants and cafes in Greece used to be like that until several years ago, they've banned smoking in enclosed areas but the law isn't being reinforced in many places as most of the people there are addicted to smoking.

No it should not be banned. It is a bad thing for those who do it and it also affects those that have to breath second hand smoke. We can regulate the second hand smoke. Driving also hurts those who do it sometimes, and also innocent bystanders at times. Driving kills tens of thousands in North America every year. Should we ban driving. Regulate yes, ban no.

For thos that smoke, they should be considerate of those around them. I can not tolerate the smoke as it activates the asthma. If they want to smoke, please do it outside.

@Robert - I think K T was talking about banning smoking inside restaurants, not smoking in general. I do think smoking INSIDE restaurants should be banned because it affects other customers.

That does seem rather unfair for Japan to do in all honesty. They need to really be a bit more considerate of the nonsmoker citizens. I know if I didn't smoke I wouldn't want to inhale smoke from all around me while eating at a restaurant! So unfair.

Man! this idiotic situation is typical for Austria too. There is 95% of places where you have the smokers and non-smokers area, an there are still many restaurants and specially night clubs where smoking is allowed anytime for everyone. They are unable to accept the ban.

Malaiika, So much for the European Union and their laws, LOL! Sometimes it makes me wonder how effective the smoking ban is in many of these European countries.

I got hooked in smoking at age 16 because of my friends. That's why I am telling the kids today to choose their friends because friends have great influence on them especially with vices like smoking, drinking and gambling.

Yes, friends can have a high influence on such things especially if the person doesn't have a strong character! It is very terrible this peer pressure!

I've never started this nasty habit and I've been around people who smoke and the smell bothers me now wish it didn't

I smoke and do not apologise to anybody about it. I'm very respectful and will NOT smoke around young children and pregnant women. If I don't know you and I want to smoke in your presence, I'll ask if you mind. If you do, I'll even leave the area and walk some distance away to enjoy my smoke. I also barely drink. I think at the moment smokers are public enemy no 1 and everyone is eager to highlight the ills of smoking. That's alright, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I won't apologise for my habit and you won't ever catch me trying to convince you of the positives because I know there are NONE. But that's the choice I made, the consequences of which I'm well aware of.

And you should not have to apologize for something that you choose to do.
Smokers don't try to convince people to start smoking and they know all of the health issues about it.
People need to get off their high horse about it and leave smokers alone.

I think smokers shouldn't even ask someone if it is OK to smoke in front of them, to me this is an insult in that it is like asking me do you mind if i shorten your life a little while i enjoy my bad habit? You should just go somewhere else to smoke and not put the onus on nonsmokers to tell you no, I know some people who have a hard time doing this.

I don't completely agree with you here Janet! I think what Mpho meant was if she if amongst friends or friends of friends and she wants to have a smoke, then will she ask if they mind! I don't see what's wrong with asking really, it is just being polite after all! If a nonsmoker can't say they mind and you smoke right there in there presence then that's a choice they made. I don't see why it should then fall on you as the smoker.

Ellen we will have to agree to disagree, I just think it should be up to the smoker because they are the one putting others health at risk, For me I feel like who wants to smell like smoke after someone smokes around me? All in my hair, clothes and lungs. The smoker can choose for them self to do something this dangerous but it is not fair forcing your friend to do it under the guise of friendship. This is peer pressure. If the person was really your friend you would not want the to get the second hand smoke.

Perhaps I should clarify further, @Janet Heisler. What I meant was if I have visitors, and we're hanging out on the outside (which is the norm in Botswana, it's that hot), I ask them if they mind if I smoke, if there are any objections, I walk away from the group and have my cigarette a fair distance away from them. I won't smoke around children, asthmatics, pregnant women; to mention a few. I honestly don't understand how that can be regarded as being inconsiderate. All I know is that it works for me and those around me, and I'm happy with it :)

I don't think that smoking should be banned permanently because to be honest although it is harmful for our health and the environment; ostracizing smoker's is discrimination and that's terrible! We need to all respect each others rights and different opinions really...that's the only way that we can live with each other!

But smokers infringe upon others rights by doing something that is bad for those around them. You have to think of the good for the whole.

Smoking should be banned in public places as I really don't need to be exposed to secondhand smoke at all. I've grown really sensitive to them and I start getting a sore throat by standing next to smokers. They ought to respect my rights too as I don't feel very well after inhaling cigarette smoke.

I hear and understand what you are saying Janet and K T. However honestly K T you don't have to stand right next to a smoker at any given time... you could move away! In my experience smokers are very conscience and don't like smoking all over people's faces. They would much rather step aside just so they go and smoke far away from a nonsmoker!

Before they banned smoking on the premises of some places but allowed them to go outsude and smoke, me as a non smoker had to walk thru a film of smoke at the entrance way to stores and restaurants where they all stood and smoked. It is a good thing they did ban it,

In that case Janet, I have to agree with you. It can't have been nice or good for you to be surrounded by cigarette smoke as a nonsmoker while minding your own business. It's a good thing that they stopped that from happening.

Hi Ellen, I have rarely bumped into a considerate smoker. The ones who are considerate are my husband's friend and he told them that I cannot tolerate secondhand smoke due to health condition. Most smokers don't believe that I cannot take cigarette smoke, they think it's just a way for me to show my disapproval. I'm sorry this is very real for me as my throat will start getting sore after being exposed to their smoke. I was exposed to secondhand smoke when I was a child as my stepfather smokes. A lot of these long-time smokers cough so please don't tell me smoking shouldn't have a negative effect on our health because it does. They should understand not all people are very healthy and that their bodies can tolerate secondhand smoke.

Hi K T, point taken and yes it is unfair for a smoker to huff and puff right in the face of a nonsmoker or even in close proximity of them! I have to say though, I know a lot of considerate smokers on my neck of the woods.

Well, it seems to me you might be talking about people that you know and they are your friends/acquaintances. I've been talking about strangers that are around me in public. If most smokers in your own country are like how you described, I suppose people are more polite and civilized there.

I have to admit that yes I have been talking mostly about people I know but even strangers seem to be considerate. I have not seen any of them being selfish and forcing their smoke down any one's throat! They always gather at one area and smoke.

I must say that most young people really don't give a hoot at all. Some people smoke at the bus stop (which is not allowed anyway). I remember how I had to stand at least 20 feet away from that chap at the bus stop and I was pregnant at that time.

I'm sorry but I'm very sensitive to cigarette smoke, very often I stop walking and try to maintain at least a 100 feet distance between me and the smoker because he/she has a burning cigarette in his/her hand. I don't understand why people have to walk everywhere with a burning cigarette in their hands.

I can not be around anyone who smokes. Smoking is bad for your health. I always teach my children that smoking is bad for you and a very bad habit to break because it stains your teeth and causes Cancer.

I respect the opinions of those who prefer not to smoke. But do not discriminate those that do, because in the eyes of the law, they are STILL not doing anything illegal. Putting up a smokers area seems to be a good compromise, but completely ostracizing them such as banning them or telling them to go to unreasonable distance to smoke is still trampling on their rights. Mutual respect and consideration should always be in mind.

I was a smoker and I quit approx. 15 years ago. I feel smokers are being treated like criminal's. At least a smoker doesn't cause accidents like those who choose to drink.

Lets ignore the fact that second hand smoke is a thing and that smoking is obviously harmful to the environment, right?

same as some household products that have chemicals, and other air pollutants, and most things around us which we use that is slowly killing us. That's not my point. It's about mutual respect --meaning, smokers give considerations to those who do not smoke by not exposing them to second hand, nonsmokers try not to be too snooty. People seem to forget about simple stuff such as respect for the individual. live and let live.

Kathleen- When I attend bush gardens they allow smoking but in specified areas. This is the correct way to enjoy the entire public. Respect and compromise not ostracizing people.

I have tried every way there is to quit smoking to no avail. Smoking is a terrible thing and I wish I never started. I am very respectful of people and do not smoke around those who do not. If I am visiting a friend who doesn't smoke I don't even go outside to smoke. Smoking is an addiction and a severe one. It is so severe yet insurance companies won't pay for rehab yet if I was addicted to heroine, alcohol, cocaine etc I could go and kick the addiction. I can't stop and there is no sense in telling me how bad it is, don't non smokers know we are well aware of the consequences? Stop treating us like criminals, because we are not

Oh my god, are you all serious? Quit playing the victim, you started smoking in the first place. If you knew so much about the consequences, it's not that difficult to say ''no'' to a cigarette.

Kathleen, lots of people do things that are bad for the environment.
There is no need to act like smokers are doing anything criminal.

Kathleen- It appears to me either you are very young or very ignorant. I'm not sure which it is. Smoking is an addiction to tobacco. Just like any other drug it is hard to quit. And yes smokers are still victims just as much as any other addiction including , drugs -alcohol-sex- etc. grow some compassion and help not hinder.

I am NOT playing the victim. I take full responsibility for smoking even though I started at age 12. My point should be quite clear

I'm not acting like smokers are criminals. I'm acting like smokers are what they are - people who sometimes put in danger the health of others and the environment for a unhealthy and unnecessary habit.

prejudice in any form leads to the deterioration of humanity. One hopes that when people mature they become more understanding of others.. sad that for most people, they do not. hence, the trouble of society today.

Kathleen, if you think that it is right to ban smoking because it is bad for the environment, be prepared to give something up yourself.
I am sure there are things that you do that are destroying the ozone layer!

Sam, Kelly it is right to ban smoking because it kills people as well as other animals. If you want to smoke don;t do it where I work or live, IF you want to kill yourself that is fine but I don't want to die of cancer, thank you very much, Society does have the right to ban it and Sam there are Laws against smoking in different places so if someone smokes in these places it is against the law. Also there are laws about smoking around newborns even if they are you own. I understand that smoking is an addiction but so is alcohol, drugs etc, and people are not allowed to do this will nilly.

Julie I can't believe you won't go outside and smoke when you are at your friends that does not smoke,

I also heard that smokers spend about 2 million dollars during their life time of smoking. Just think how much they could do with that 2 million.

I don't agree that smoking should be completely banned. Yea sure, restrictions are alright...people shouldn't smoke anywhere and everywhere especially not around newborns or pregnant women but really? to outright say smoking should be banned..that to me is being unreasonable! I am yet to meet a smoker who isn't considerate of other people... I sure as hell would stand next to a nonsmoker and puff away my cigarette in there direction, that is rude and not right, My choice of smoking shouldn't affect anyone else around me!

Janet, wherever smoking is banned and against the law (and other situations you were talking about), then one shouldn't smoke there. You know why? because that's respecting the law. Same thing as countries who allow the use of marijuana and those who doesn't. I have been reiterating this, my point is about MUTUAL RESPECT. For the meantime for those countries that hasn't banned smoking yet, a compromise should be reached unless they fully ban it because they had given the person the right to smoke or not to smoke. I don't know if you'd noticed that i'm not writing in a first person perspective on smoking because i am not one. but i prefer to be with people who smoke that are considerate of other people than those self-righteous non-smokers who discriminate others just because they sin differently than them.

Janet, it should not be banned just because it is bad for people.
That's like banning trans-fat, cholesterol, or fast food. People choose to smoke just like they choose to eat unhealthy foods.
Now I do believe that it should be banned from restaurants, public buildings etc. Which in most states in the US it is banned in public places.
It's one thing if a smoker chooses to smoke, but people should not be forced to breathe in the second hand smoke.

Janet believe it or not I do not go outside to smoke when I am at a friends house because she hates the smell and I respect her. I don't run out to smoke at restaurants either. I wait until I am in my car or at home. I also believe smoking should be banned in all indoor public places but I do believe outside these places should have designated areas away from the doors for people who want to smoke. Besides the fact that everyone yelling at us smokers, my point is it is a horrible addiction, like heroin but I CAN'T go to a rehab facility to kick it unless I can pay thousands of dollars. Drug addicts also choose to do drugs.

That was what I was trying to say not get attacked or called a liar. I won't be back to this forum...Thanks

smoking is a disgusting habit that i wish people would stop doing. it's just basically putting a cancer stick in your mouth.

I want people to stop drinking it' s a disgusting display of out of mind actions that cause death to others. But that is a pipe dream too.

How does drinking affect others? Smoking is different in that passive smokers get sick and die from smokers who don't care where they smoke.

Well, Janet, drunk drivers is a HUGE one that affects others. In fact, by the looks of statistics, it affects A LOT of others. Just sayin.' The air you have been breathing, since birth is/has/ and will always be carrying numerous things that could be slowly killing you or anyone that is breathing, regardless if people smoked or not. (Car pollution, diseases, garbage, factories, slaughter houses, etc etc) Obviously, it's a gross habit, it's poison, it's deadly, it causes cancer, it stains your teeth, your clothes and hair smell, it causes cancer, it's deadly, it's a gross habit, it causes cancer, it causes cancer, it causes cancer. Do you see where I'm going with this? Anyone and everyone who smokes, knows all of this. All I'm saying is, it's an addiction and like any addiction, it's hard to stop. Maybe some day they wont exist, who knows.

Drinking only affects others if you get pregnant when you are drinking or if you drive, Just one drink does not affect the person next to you like smoke does.I know it is an addiction but this does not give people the right to smoke near you or even in the same room, this is just plain rude and inconsiderate.

That is your opinion Holly and you have every right to it! I doubt that there is a smoker out there who doesn't know the effects and dangers of smoking yet it is still done. That honestly should show you that smokers continue with their "bad" habit totally informed and aware.

It is very rude, I agree. I'm not trying to justify smoking, it's a horrible habit and many, many people that do smoke, wish they had never started. I'm a smoker, very occasionally, but a smoker nonetheless and I avoid smoking near anyone in public, unless it's a smoking area. I don't find any joy in blowing smoke in other peoples faces (although I realise not everyone is so nice in this day and age.) I hope to quit again soon and hopefully never look back. It's a process, but I don't need people down my throat thinking that it's going to make me quit faster. More stress will only make a smoker want to smoke more. (At least, that's how I feel.) Also, I don't know if it's 100% true or not, as I have not done extensive research on it, but I'm pretty sure I read that second hand smoke has never been an actual cause of death, (of course, leaving out that you say, lived with someone who smoked for 20+ years inside the same home you lived in, and you breathed it all in, everyday. Then sure, there is a definite possibility that you would become very ill.) and I'm also pretty sure that was from a scientific point of view. But regardless, I'm not trying to argue or anything, I just wanted to share my opinion.

i actually feel the same way about marijuana. but i dont shove my opinion down someone else's throat if they chose to do that. I just stay clear or politely ask them to go on a different room, which they do.

Sam I think the way you approach this might just be the "perfect" way! I don't agree with people trying to shove their opinions down other people's throats. That's a nice attitude you have there!

Second hand smokers are more prone to dreaded diseases such as lung cancer than those that are fist hand smokers. These are facts that are scientifically proven already.

I AM TRYING TO GIVE UP SMOKING NOW, IT'S NOT EASY BUT I AM DETERMINED. WISH ME LUCK THIS REALLY IMPORTANT TO ME.

Good luck, I wish you very good luck. It's true enough that it's not easy, but with that determination and the conviction that you truly want to do this, you can get far.

Good luck! I smoked for 18 years and I gave up a little over 7 months ago now. I never would have thought I could do it, but I'm so happy that I did. You can do it! :)

Rose- Great Job!!, just keep trying. I had to experience stopping 3 separate times befog I really accomplished it. I have been smoke free just a little over 15 years. ((LOTS OF GOOD LUCK))

Congratulations to you Florence in getting past the addiction of the nicotine, You should be really proud of yourself. Way to go!

All the very best in your quest to quit! It really isn't easy and you will need a whole lot of determination...which I assume you have!

I am so glad that I gave up smoking 10 years ago. It is good that laws are in place to ban smoking in public places. The children today are lucky that they do not see smoking as the norm. I see less young people smoking than when I was younger.

I have been smoke free 15 years now. I love the fact that I'm no longer have to pay the price of cigarettes. They have really jumped in cost. Hubby still smokes his cost $44.00 a carton. If I were still In the habit $88.00 a week would be just to much.

I am glad that less young people smoke because really smoking isn't something that should be sold as awesome to anybody! People who do smoke, do it with the full knowledge of the kind of harm it can do.

I think if it wasn't that tobacco farming wasn't such big business and all the tax money collected wasn't so big they would outlaw cigs. Don't you agree there's a reason they keep allowing cigs to be produced?

I am so thankful that this is one bad habit I never picked up. Not even as a teenager. I am 25 years old and have never smoked a day in my life and I am proud of that,

I'm 30 now....and I have never smoked in my life....thanks to my parents, they taught me the bad things about smoking. Well it me as well I don't like smoking, it looks no fun to me...

I also have never smoked in my life, Joon. My mom didn't smoke and I didn't like getting secondhand smoke from my step dad.

I was with a small group of people that were talking about smoking or quitting. One lady confessed she had never smoked. I didn't say anything, but (I wanted to ) I know for a fact she smokes recreational marijuana and that is still smoking.

I can tell whether people smoke or not.
Usually you can smell it....but also at the sides of the faces, that there is a slight yellowish lines...funny I can see this....

Florence, I would also count that as smoking too. I don't know what marijuana or cannabis smells like when people smoke them (I suppose they smell horrible and I'd probably want to vomit when I smell it). I only know it's considered substance abuse unless there's a medical reason for using them.

There will never be an answer to whether smoking is bad, good or should be ban or allowed. All I know is that I would hate to think of some of the wonderful, intelligent individuals I would have never had the privilege of knowing had I based my decision to get to know them based on "Oh, they smoke, and I don't" or "I don't want someone with that nasty habit in my life"! I have been blessed with some of the most wonderful people in the world that, coincidentally, also smoke.

I do not smoke and I do not like to be around people who smokes. Smoking like so many other things are not good for you. I do not allow my children to be around who smokes.

I am glad that you keep your children away from smokers because truly children need to be far away from such acts. I also think that people who do smoke know that it is not good for you but are hooked on it either ways! It just takes some tolerance and patience really towards those who do smoke!

I quit smoking about three years ago. I feel the urge to start up again when I am super stressed out, but I try not to start up again.

I know how hard it is to quit, I struggle with it every day. On like my 5th attempt to quit and hoping this will be the last time for me

Don't start again Barbara....it will do you no good to smoke...its worse to smoke when you are stressed out......just try to avoid..

Congratulations to you! I hope you can continue to resist the temptation! And be proud that you were able to quit, I wish my hubby would for the sake of everyones health in our home.

Well done for quitting! You did yourself a solid there and yes, it isn't easy but that you managed three whole years should be motivation enough for you not to start up again! I wish you all the best
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