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Such a policy, paper will argue, is likely to have as its consequence the elimination of nonsmokers’ exposure to secondhand smoke.The paper will at the end explore several policy considerations that might lead to the elimination of exposure to secondhand smoke.If harm is indeed being caused, public policy should prevent the smoker from smoking in this room.
At each of these three levels we must determine whether the harm is sufficiently significant and determine if the right to smoke should be curtailed.
Arguments Against Smoking in Public Places Annoyance.
The second involves the short-term physiological irritation of the eyes, nose, mouth, throat, and lungs caused by the inhalation of smoke; let us call this the level of irritation.
The third involves the long-term risk of disease caused by repeated exposure to secondhand smoke; let us call this the level of disease.
There are at least three levels on which smoking may harm nonsmokers.
The first involves the distasteful odor of cigarette smoke, in the air and in the clothes and hair of even nonsmokers, who are in the same room as a smoker, let us call this the level of annoyance.
In this respect, smoking is no different from other activities one simply does not want performed in one’s own home.
But suppose that the smoker is a friend, a business associate, or a superior.
Then a variety of arguments for smoking in public places presented.
The underlying aim of this paper is to provide a moral guide to the formation of a public policy toward smoking behavior.