A report from the New York Times is showing that a ban on smoking in public parks is, thus far, being obeyed. The report states that two-thirds of the litter that is normally left behind by cigarettes has dropped. This is a very successful ban, but it makes one wonder whether there has been a cost of some sort paid in terms of society.
While nobody is disputing as to whether or not second-hand smoke is a good thing, bans such as these have sent a message to smokers that they are not welcome in those public places. Whether intentionally sent or not, many smokers feel that the message is that the smokers themselves are the ones not welcome, rather than their cigarettes. The fact is, many smokers feel unwelcome as a result of the many bans across the country. The lack of designated smoking areas makes many smokers feel left out in the cold. While the desire to keep litter and smoke to a minimum is understandable, a designated area for smokers could be a happy medium that both sides of the argument could live with.
Some places of amusement such as parks and restaurants or even hotels are meant to be enjoyed for quite a few hours. For a smoker this causes a huge problem in that every few hours a cigarette is required. Without designated smoking areas these businesses will not only be losing business but smokers in general will be less likely to go out and about spending money or could take their business elsewhere. The need for designated smoking areas or rooms is growing rapidly and if a decision isn’t made soon about the issue then permanent damage could be done on many a community and business.