When you see a no smoking sign, it means that you are in an area where there are now restrictions on anyone smoking in that area. You can safely say that if anyone does smoke in that area, there can be some sort of punishment, so that area is safer for anyone who needs to avoid secondhand smoke.
Who Should Avoid Secondhand Smoke?
It turns out that everyone should avoid secondhand smoke, even people who smoke. The ingredients of secondhand smoke include ammonia (commonly found in cleaning products), benzene (found in gasoline), carbon monoxide, cyanide (thought of as a poison), formaldehyde and chromium. The effects of secondhand smoke can include:
- cancer, especially lung cancer
- heart disease
- and other kinds of lung disease, like emphysema and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Innocent bystanders can also experience other problems, and children are especially vulnerable. If it weren’t for the severe effect on children, it may have been difficult to convince the public of the need for smoking bans. Children may experience asthma, infections, low birth weight, and smoking around infants is even linked to SIDS. A no smoking sign is a defensive measure for anyone not wanting any of these conditions for themselves or their children.
Does It Hurt Businesses When There Are Smoking Bans?
Even though health is a serious concern for everyone, there were still legitimate concerns when people first started talking about protecting people from secondhand smoke as to how that would affect businesses. Many believed that when there were restrictions on smoking, people would refuse to frequent certain establishments, and then those businesses would suffer and ultimately fail. There were a lot of negotiations that tried to take many factors into account, such as what kind of people might frequent a business and whether or not children would be present.
Enough years have gone by since the implementation of smoking restrictions that it is safe to say that most businesses have continued to thrive even after putting up the required no smoking sign. It may be because it came about when the public was already becoming aware of the risks and dangers associated with smoking, but the hospitality industry is thriving and jobs are growing to fill its needs. Independent, peer-reviewed research shows that there is a positive impact when an industry can show that it cares about the people it caters to.