Smoking Bans: A Complete Guide

For nearly a decade now, various states across America as well as numerous European countries have introduced what is referred to as a “smoking ban”. Here’s everything you need to know about these bans:

– What is a smoking ban? Are people just not allowed to smoke at all?

That’s not quite the case. A proper name for these bans would be “smoking in public places ban” – but that’s a little wordy! Most of the bans in American states and various countries around the world prevent smoking in public places. A public place is usually defined as somewhere like a bar, restaurant or office workspace. If a ban is in place in a particular area, smoking inside these buildings is prohibited.

– Is it any type of smoking?

Yes, all smoking – filter cigarettes, pipes, rolled cigarettes – is banned.

– Why do these bans exist?

It’s a health concern, primarily the concern raised about passive smoking. The theory is that non-smokers can still suffer from smoking-related illnesses, such as cancer, if they regularly breathe second-hand smoke in. The ban is to protect the public health.

– Does these bans infringe on a smokers civil liberties?

This is still a question of debate, but there has been no significant legal challenge on a human rights level to provide a precedent. If such a case were winnable, smokers rights groups would probably have challenged the bans in court by now.

– What happens if I smoke inside a building where a ban is in place?

It depends on the state or country you are in. Penalties range from an on-the-spot fine right through to arrest, and the establishment you smoke in will also be punished.

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