The ban on smoking in public places has clear advantages. As shown by official government reports and independent medical studies, in those regions where the authorities introduced such a ban, there was a decrease in the number of smokers (West, 2017). In general, bans created, such as the one in Harris County, have had overwhelmingly positive results. There are fewer cigarette butts on the streets; the state replenishes the treasury through fines. In addition, reducing the number of smokers makes the nation healthier and increases the overall life expectancy of the population. However, people still have some concerns about the bans being entered into force.
Some people are convinced that the introduction of such legislative initiatives can negatively affect children’s health living with their smoking parents. For example, there is a presumption that parents will begin to abuse smoking in their apartments and houses in connection with the emergence of a ban on smoking in public places. However, this concern is misplaced, as recent research shows that such displacement does not occur in practice (Nanninga et al., 2018). Accordingly, this kind of concern is unreasonable from a practical point of view. Therefore, such concerns about the smoking ban introduced in Harris County can also be regarded as unfounded.
In addition to entering the ban into force, additional actions should be taken to combat the retention and increase in the number of smokers. For example, the authorities need to warn citizens about smoking health risks, increase tobacco taxes and create advertising bans (Anyanwu et al., 2018). The combination of these actions can be regarded as an effective method of reducing the prevalence of smoking. Therefore, the policy in Harris County can be considered successful, as it consisted of several stages, which included consultation on the application of the policy, the creation of appropriate signage, and the training of employees.
Anyanwu, P. E., Craig, P., Katikireddi, S. V., & Green, M. J. (2018). Impacts of smoke-free public places legislation on inequalities in youth smoking uptake: study protocol for a secondary analysis of UK survey data. BMJ Open, 8(3), e022490. Web.
Nanninga, S., Lhachimi, S.K. & Bolte, G. (2018). Impact of public smoking bans on children’s exposure to tobacco smoke at home: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Public Health, 18(1), 749. Web.
West, R. (2017). Tobacco smoking: Health impact, prevalence, correlates and interventions. Psychology & Health, 32(8), 1018–1036. Web.