The following example essay on “Pulmonary Critical Care Near San Luis Obispo” is a commissioned study by the Pentagon and the Department of Veterans Affair (VA), a ban on smoking in the US military was proposed which was said would change more likely the entire culture of the military (Fox News).
If approved, it would end the profitable sales of tobacco around US military bases and make smoking illegal among uniformed soldiers, even in combats. New recruits to the service would need to be tobacco-free and treatment programs would be expanded once the proposal is enacted.
The study proposed a five- to 10- even 20- year period gradual phase out of the ban.
The proponents of the ban argue that it is for the best. Smoking weakens the soldiers because can cause cancer and other cardiovascular diseases. This translates to poor performance during battles. The rationale behind the proposal is basically to protect people, both the smokers and the people who suffer the effects of second-hand smoking.
How can the country rely on servicemen who are threatened of numerous diseases such as cancer, emphysema and other heart problems? On the other hand, those who are opposing the ban claim that tobacco is a necessity to over come the lack of sleep and food during war. When soldiers smoke, they can forget other bodily needs which are impossible to get in the field anyway.
However, this escapism does not solve the problem. For example, studies would show that soldiers who suffer from depression or post- traumatic stress disorder are more likely to smoke.
Instead of seeking professional health from doctors, these soldiers seek diversion is smoking which does not solve the problem but create a new one.According to the study, the tobacco ban would relieve Pentagon of $846 million a year in medical care and lost productivity. For VA, the ban means doing away with the $6 billion in treatments for illness cause by smoking.
Service members were found out to be heavy smokers ? soldiers are around 37 percent and marines 36 percent. Compared to the ratio of adult American smokers to non-smokers of 1:5, one in three men in service is smoking. Fifty percent of soldiers who experienced combat were more likely to use tobacco than those who did not.In the US, the history of smoking ban started in 1975 in the state of Minnesota when the Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act was passed (Hung, et. al., 2005).
At first, only restaurants have sections where smoking was prohibited. Eventually, through the Freedom to Breathe Act of 2007, all restaurants and bars statewide were banned. This was followed in 1990 by San Luis Obispo, California, the first city in the world to ban smoking from all public places. Inspired by California’s commitment, New York started implementing band in 2008.Critics of the smoking bans maintain that it is an encroachment of personal rights.
Everyone is thinking about the right of everybody except the right of the smokers. This argument is based on John Stuart Mill’s “harm principle,” stating that the damage of secondhand smoking does not warrant government intervention. Other economists argue that smoke ban is not necessarily the best solution. Smokers can always compensate nonsmokers without government intrusion. Legal issues have arisen because of such ban, mostly from affected businesses that loss profits without pay off (McGowan, 1995).
However, in 2006, a review was conducted in US and established that smoking bans were unlikely to have bad effects in business establishments. In fact, many bars and restaurants have experienced a boost in business after they became smoke free.The tobacco ban is just logical in places such as the military bases and their other facilities with explosive hazards. This would promote safety, reduce liability and lower energy use when ventilation needs go down.
Cleanliness of the air and the surroundings due to reduced quantity of litter should give the servicemen the incentive to quit smoking. These people’s primary occupation is to assure the citizens’ safety from threat and they should play an important role in promoting public health. They are idolized by many and should set an example of making a move towards a healthy lifestyle and not adhering to a culture where smoking becomes an everyday part of existence.
Soldiers who smoke are more likely to drop out before they finish their enlisted commitments because of poor health. While in service, they suffer from poor eye sight, fail fitness test, as well as being absent from work frequently. Soldiers who are into smoking are said to bleed harder after surgery, to recover slowly and to be easily infected. If they survive the combats, they still have to face the consequences of being nicotine addicts when they get back home.
Secondhand smoke imposes the same problem as much as direct smoking does (Chapman, 2007). So imagine a single soldier who smokes and pollutes the entire barrack. Studies show that a nonsmoker who lives with a smoker has a 20 to 30 percent greater risk of lung cancer than nonsmoker who lives with another nonsmoker. In a workplace, a nonsmoker exposed from secondhand smoke is 16 to 19 percent more likely to have lung cancer. This is the case because nonsmokers are exposed to the same amount of carcinogen as confirmed by International Agency for Research on Cancer of the World Health Organization, US National Cancer Institute, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. National Institutes of Health and Surgeon General of the United States.
Smokers do not only harm their self but also the environment. There is no dispute that smoking pollutes the air. There are around 4,000 hazardous substance in cigarettes which human beings inhale and exhale in the atmosphere (Phalen, 2002). An entire squad of soldiers doing exactly the same thing indicates an enourmous quantity of pollution. Smoking also causes water and land pollution due to million of cigarette butts left on the ground and end up in lakes and rivers.
Water animals mistaken these cigarette butts for food are being poisoned and killed. Cigarette butts seem so insignificant but it can do a lot of damage during the 25 years of its decomposition. While decomposing, its hazardous elements leak to the soil, harming the plants. They are also highly flamable which can cause major fires.To sum up, arguments supporting the smoking ban in US military outweigh the criticism. When the ban is officially enacted, it will improve the health of the servicemen, cut the cost for health services and ultimately, save lives.