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Hello, I would be extremely glad if anyone could proofread my work below - I am particularly interested in any comments regarding stylistics.
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Do we need a total smoking ban?
Smoking is just as old a vice as mankind itself. At hardly any other time in history, though, has there been such a flamewar debate over its deadly effects on those who smoke and, particularly, on those who “smoke second-hand”; that is, passively. And it is passive smoking that presents a powerful argument in favour of making smoking illegal altogether. Indeed, if doctors and scientists are clear that smoking kills even those involuntarily involved, what reasons may there be for any concessions to smokers?
Certainly, there are a number of reasons why smoking should be wholly prohibited. The first, and most obvious, reason is the destructive effects of smoking on health of smokers themselves; it has been proven that the risk of developing lung cancer increases tenfold with smoking. Also, any person smoking substantially increases their chances of developing respiratory illnesses and suffering a heart attack. The second argument is that smoking threatens non-smokers, too. Tobacco smoke contains thousands of chemicals, which are inhaled by those who happen to find themselves in the presence of a smoker. Scientific researches by the Scientific Committee on Tobacco and Health have shown that second-hand smoking is a cause of a great many smoking-related diseases. And it is the children – be it in restaurants or private homes - who run more risk of developing such diseases, while at the same time they do not have the freedom of choice; the same holds true for household pets.
Thus, in the light of these arguments, a total smoking ban seems to be the only plausible solution.
Yet the situation is not such a clear-cut. Firstly, while it is true that smoking causes health problems for those who light up cigarettes, the effects of exposure to second-hand smoke might not be as harmful as it was thought. According to a study published in the highly regarded British Medical Journal, there is no proven link between passive smoking and lung cancer or mortal diseases generally. Although the study is quite controversial and faces criticism from health institutions and those opposed to smoking, many consider it a valid contribution to the debate, especially because it is the first study carried out by the “pro-smoking” party. Indeed, many scientists acknowledge the need for an unbiased review of the issue, which would take into account the interests of both parties. Such review seems to be a satisfactory solution since the mentioned study is said not to have included all of the important data. The second argument often presented by the “pro-smokers” is a question of democracy; it is claimed that smokers should not be deprived of the right to smoke. To a certain extent, this is true; however though, it is important to note that the freedom of a person must not interfere with the freedom of others. Smokers should therefore be allowed to enjoy their right to smoke insofar as it does not completely prevent other people from enjoying theirs.
Considering all the pros and cons, it can be seen that smoking should certainly be restricted. However, a total ban would not be a fair game since the extent of its damaging effects on the health of passive smokers has yet to be subject to further research. Moreover, such ban would be undemocratic; a balance must be struck between the rights of both smokers and non-smokers.