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Passive Smoking Greater Health Hazard: Nimhans by Stephen David Essay

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Table of Contents
Introduction
Critique
Reflexive part
References

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Introduction

Smoking in India and the world at large leads to numerous harmful effects among them lung cancer thereby leading to many deaths. This has led to an outcry by the world over for the urgency to ban smoking in public under the support of the World Health Organization (WHO). In celebration of Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday this year, the Indian government made an announcement banning public smoking.

How does this really impact the fight against the effects of smoking? Is this the best action to combat the situation? This paper is a critique of the article “Passive smoking greater health hazard: Nimhans” by Stephen David. In this article, David has expounded on research carried out in a qualitative manner by the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (Nimhans) to identify the dimensions of smoking in India’s population. The article focuses on analyzing the findings of the study and compares them to the reactions to the ban on public smoking. This paper, therefore, is a critique of the aforesaid article by Stephen David.

Critique

David has written the paper-based not on his findings alone but based o the research by Nimhans. It would thus appear that much of the arguments presented in the article are not his own but those of Nimhans. From the article, we learn that David views the health challenge that smoking poses to humans as something not to be overlooked as it stretches deep to the younger generation in recent times. This means that the problem is not temporary and thus means and ways of fighting it should be long-term. Therefore, the idea of banning public smoking does not really sound efficient to him.

David prefers fighting smoking as a whole and specifically fighting the attitude that smokers are fronting in order to discourage new smokers and young children from taking up the trend. From the article, he says that smokers and especially men seem more attractive than nonsmokers. There are various ways we can explain the attractiveness projected by smokers. First, we have to seek to know to which class a majority of smokers are from.

For instance, it might be that a majority of smokers are wealthy and hence their attractiveness is conservatively related to smoking. Again we have to appreciate the relativity of the word attractive. What is attractive to particular sex might not have the same effect on the other sex. Therefore the attractiveness of smokers cannot be exclusively linked to smoking only as there might be other contributing factors.

Reflexive part

The fight against smoking is being directed at smokers instead of smoking as a habit. I, therefore, hold the opinion that the route being taken by the government is all wrong. Nevertheless, the idea to protect the public from the harmful effects of smoking is correct though the manner of doing so is problematic in my own view. Why because? Punishing offenders is not discouraging smoking as such but only postponing the issue by making them fall back in their private residences where they can safely carry o the dangerous habit. In such a situation I see that the idea of banning public smoking is not fighting smoking or creating more awareness in the public about the dangers of smoking. Such a campaign seems to say that “smoking is okay as long as it is not done in public”.

A majority of the nonsmokers support the ban but does it really mean they are not exposed to passive smoke, no. A fifth of smokers does it at home. So exposure to passive smoke is reduced minimally. All in all the danger of passive smoke is not adequately addressed by the ban on public smoking.

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References

David, Stephen, Passive smoking greater health hazard: Nimhans, 2008.

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