Smoking cigarettes is a habit that is degenerating to the health of humans and the environment. Not only are cigarettes a clear carcinogen, but they also have a deadly consequence on the environment. Cigarette buts can take 12 years to decompose, and they leach harmful chemicals to the environment. They also affect air quality, “While the current EPA standard for average outdoor levels of particulate air pollution is 35 micrograms per cubic metre of air, a Stanford University study measured levels as high as 300 micrograms per cubic metre from just one cigarette” (Eluxe Magazine). Reducing opportunities for smokers helps the environment and the health of the public who faced second-hand smoke.
Chicago has taken action against public smoking. While indoor smoking has been banned for years now, there are fewer and fewer opportunities to smoke outdoors as well. In 2014, the Chicago Park District had also implemented a smoking ban near parks and harbours. Violators face up to a $500 fine. Music festivals like Lollapalooza and Riot Fest also face the ban.
Not only does this prohibition protect children and other bystanders from second-hand smoke, but it also contributes to efforts in reducing toxic substances into the air, ultimately leading to better air quality in Chicago. Unfortunately, I can’t tell whether or not this ban is effective, considering the number of students on our campus who smoke cigarettes and electronic cigarettes amidst no-smoking signs. Redeye Chicago also mentions people who aren’t planning on complying, “Cigar smoker Michael Altshuler plans to continue tobacco use in parks and risk getting slapped with a penalty for violating the parks smoking ban”.