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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?

Cigarette smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer.Smoking is directly responsible for approximately 90 percent of lung cancer deaths and approximately 80-90 percent of COPD deaths.

Yes it is bad and has been proven, but if you go to a place that allows it it is your fault. Bars should allow smoking in my opinion and there should be ones that don't just like restaurants and other places

My upstairs neighbor is smoking in her flat, which she isn't supposed to because that's against the tenancy agreement but our landlord isn't aware of this.

I do not smoke but have plenty of friends that do. The most I smoke is a cigar every so often and that is it

I do not smoke and I don't think I will ever do it. But I do like the smell of cigarettes on a guy's clothing lol love it!

I'm not fond of smoking at all . I waa so very happy when the new laws cone about . I hate the smell of the smoke it gets in your clothes and hair it's gross ! I see people smoke inside the house with new born babies . I mean go outside already poor baby will have breathing problems forever !

So far I am consuming e-juice. Tobacco is dangerous. Smokers know all that .
E-juice can cause no harm in the body .

Yes, everyone knows smoking is bad, because of the inhalation of smoke. However, it is dangerous to think that the liquid which is vaporized and inhaled through ecigs can cause no harm. These substances have not been fully evaluated by the FDA, so consumers do not know what the potentially harmful effects may be.

I am glad I do not smoke, but for some reason I do like the smell of cigar smoke! I think if I tried smoking I could easily become addicted.

The odor from smoking is just gagging. Especially when one sits next to you in an office waiting for an appointment. One knows right off the bat that person smokes.

Smoking cannabis is less harmful than cigarettes. It heals cancer. Big companies dont prosper from marijuana. Heal your lungs with cannabis.

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.
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