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Argument against the Banning of Smoking

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Justification of the ambient environment regulation in the conventional sense is that there is a necessity in combating inefficiencies caused by the negative externalities (Troyer amp. Gerald 110). These negative externalities can be defined as the costs that the party responsible for the process that causes them does not bear. An example is a factory owner whose factory spews smoke into the environment, though he does not fully bear the costs that are linked to health risks, stench, and smoke produced by his factory. Most of these costs are moved to the neighbours of the factory. Outdoor pollution of the air involves negative externalities that that result in excessive polluting activity and the violation of rights of the pollution victim. Indoor pollution of the air, however, involves no such type of externality (Troyer amp. Gerald 110). The reason for this is that the person charged with the determination of how much smoking is allowed indoors has to bear the entire cost of their decision thus making them select the air cleanliness optimal level.
The vital difference between indoor and outdoor air is property rights. While outdoor air is considered common property, in essence, the owner of the building owns indoor air (Troyer amp. Gerald 111). This means that the owner of the building who can control the permitted amount of smoking permitted in his/ her building possesses the incentive to allow the right amount of smoking that maximizes the individual’s welfare in their building….
can control the permitted amount of smoking permitted in his/ her building possesses the incentive to allow the right amount of smoking that maximizes the individual’s welfare in their building. Since patrons select the buildings they visit based on costs and benefits of patronage, they are free to avoid the buildings that have air policies they do not concur with, or they could reduce the amount they would be willing to spend in these establishments. Workers at businesses allowing smoking also exercise control via demand of increased pay for compensation for un-pleasantries experienced due to smoking in their workplace. This argument shows that it is unnecessary to ban smoking since processes in the market will make sure that employees and patrons preferences as regards smoking either will be honoured or compensated (Troyer amp. Gerald 111). The attempt to use bans on smoking to influence norms in society is not wise as a policy (Reid 155). Smoking bans that are sweeping in nature are actually more likely to increase incidences of smoking. Most smokers pick up the habit at a young age because it is cool. The reason that makes it cool is that it is rebellious. The harder the forces against smoking coerce individuals into stooping smoking via involvement of governmental institutions and other establishments, the rebellious and cooler smoking, become (Reid 155). Smoking bans are also highly intrusive interventions and the actual reduction of smoking by these sweeping bans is not exactly clear. Even experts who advocate smoking bans to change social norms accept that this form of intrusive bans and regulations could result in a norm backlash. The argument on risk ignores the smoking preferences of citizens’ altogether (Reid 156). The assertion of this argument is that