smoking facts

- Do Smokers Have Rights? -
Current Ethical Issues
Public Smoking Bans

Do smokers have rights?

Current ethical issues regarding the right to smoke suggest that this individual right does not supersede the right of the majority of the society to be free from the discomfort, nuisance, and possible harmful effects of environmental tobacco smoke.

smokers rights

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Public smoking bans protect the health of all members of a society, even the minority who are smokers.

In particular a ban on smoking in public places protects those who are most vulnerable. Is it reasonable to expect children, the sick, and other vulnerable members of society to simply escape the harmful effects of smoking tobacco products when smokers light up, or should a society care for those members and enforce public smoking bans in order to protect them?

Does The Legal Right To Smoke Even Exist?

Smoking in public places is not a right. In fact the right to smoke is pure smoking addiction fiction. Smokers use smoking fiction all the time to justify their choice. The "right to smoke" is a piece of smoking fiction used to suggest that restrictions on smoking in public places are infringing on individual rights and freedoms when in fact the legal right to smoke does not exist.

There is nothing in a free society that suggests that you have a right to smoke tobacco products. In a free society you have a right to make choices - even bad ones. If you make a poor choice it is important that you are the only one that is harmed by that choice. That is why societies have laws, and specifically laws against smoking.

Laws such as public smoking bans are made to protect the majority of people in a society from those who make poor choices.

Consider the laws in many cities and townships where any kind of burning requires a permit. Some jurisdictions even refuse building permits for new construction with wood burning fireplaces. These laws are in place to preserve air quality and protect the public. When viewed in comparison, public smoking bans are hardly unreasonable.

- Current Ethical Issues -
Do Smokers Rights Supersede the Rights of Non-Smokers?

As human beings it is important that we consider our relationships to each other and the foundation of beliefs and values that we use to structure them.

When examining the current ethical issues of the right to smoke, it becomes imperative to consider our relationships with other people in society.

We have moral obligations to not only care for each other but to care about each other. This consideration is the true meaning of ethics.

Personal rights and freedoms are meaningless outside of the context of ethics because sometimes rights and obligations of different people in a society will be in conflict. When this happens it is important to consider whose rights are most important and what duties and obligations need to be considered in the context of those rights. challenges anyone to present an argument that smokers rights are more important than the rights of the non-smoking public.

Feel free to make your contribution here - Smoking in Public Places.

And when it comes to smoker's rights, remember that your only legal right is the freedom to make a choice. If you have the legal capacity to make that choice you are free to do so.

Ethically you are required to make that choice responsibly in the best interest of yourself and others.

The smoking facts reveal, however, that this is not the way the decision to smoke in the first place is made, and that is what makes it a bad choice.

Discover the answer to the question Why do People Smoke?

by Beverly OMalley

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