TOPICS Online Magazine

Smoking in
Public Places

Issue 7

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Smokers Have Rights, Too

Ana López from Mexico
defends smokers' desire to have a place to smoke.

Even though I am not a smoker, I believe that smokers have the right to have a place to smoke in public places.

As a non-smoker, I understand that breathing secondhand smoke is as bad as inhaling smoke, but if smokers have a place to smoke, they will not smoke around non-smokers. Then their smoke will stay around them, and it won't bother us.

A smoker
Photo: T. Peters
Woman smoking in a coffee shop. There are more and more places where smoking is prohibited.


I have been in public places with both sections, and the smoke has not bothered me. However, I understand that some people cannot stand any smoke at all and prefer to prohibit smoking in all areas, but then where is the smokers' right to have their place?

These days smokers have been changing their habits around people who don't smoke. They don't smoke around children, old people, or anyone who doesn't smoke.

Smokers do not want to inflict their habit on other people; they simply want to have a place to smoke. It's a habit, and knowing that it is bad for their health, they chose to have this habit.

We non-smokers, however, did not choose this habit, and we can claim our right to keep our health, just as smokers claim their right to smoke. If we have most of the space and can breathe clean air, we should not be against smokers' right to have a space to smoke. They have as much freedom as we do.

More on Smoking in Public Places:
Smokers and Nonsmokers Must Show Respect | Limitation on Freedom in Society | Smoking Should be Prohibited in Public Places

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