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Ban of Smoking in London Public Areas

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 Introduction

Problems with the pollution that are a part of the air and the trash in various areas are causing more complexities within multiple regions. It has been found that this is leading not only to problems with buildings, air pollution that is leading to global warming and the condition of the earth but continues to accumulate because of a lack of responsibility in public places. Smoking is one of the pollutants that lead to several layers of problems. This consists of health issues that come from second-hand smoke as well as an accumulation of air and land pollution that continues to rise because of the cigarettes in public places. To alter this, there is a need to ban smoking from all public areas, including the parks that are in London. This will begin to assist with the problems with pollution while ensuring that others aren’t affected by the harmful substances of cigarettes.

Ban of Smoking in London Public Areas  

Aims

This specific project will aim to ban the smoking that is currently in public areas, specifically which is occurring in places such as parks and areas where children and youth are. The aim will be based on assisting in health among those who are exposed to the cigarette smoke while offering an alternative to those who are conscious of the environment and aren’t interested in the complexities smoking leads to with the environment and health. By banning smoking in London public parks, there will be further opportunities for better health and initiatives for environmental awareness in the community. 

Methodology

To ban smoking in public areas, there will first need to be a focus on the parks and the government, which creates the central policies within site. The systems will need to consist of fines or other consequences if individuals are caught smoking in the parks, as well as agreements on how to initialize consequences to stop smoking in the public areas. The ban that will take place will then need to be followed by ways to communicate this to the public through press releases, marketing campaigns and initiatives that will support the policy on stopping public smoking in the outdoor areas in London. 

Background

The current changes with smoking in public areas began in 2002 in the United States with the initiative to stop public smoking in bars, restaurants and work areas. This led to a nationwide ban which supported the initiative to quit smoking, specifically with academic leads which showed that smoke – free workplaces led to better options for health, working and habits for those within a given area. The central idea was to create a space in which non – smokers were protected from passive smoking, specifically with evidence which led to the health problems which were stimulated with second-hand smoke. This was combined with the environmental issues of not having fresh air within the buildings and how this could harm the health of those that were located in an area where there were smoking bans (Fichtenberg, Glantz, 2002).  

The smoking ban, which was first initialized, was tested in several areas, specifically to see if this resulted in changes with health and from those who were said to be affected through second-hand smoke. It was found after the first smoking bans were initialized that admittance into hospitals for complexions such as coronary heart disease began to decline rapidly. This decreased from an average of 47% to 39% within a year, showing a difference in the number of health issues, specifically which related to the smoking ban and the monitoring of health effects of those who were being affected by the environmental smoking and the complexities which it had for those with severe health problems (Khuder, Milz, Jordan, 2007).  

Another study which was initiated after the smoking ban was conducted on environmental health and air pollution, which was a part of each of the areas. The environmental tobacco smoke which was associated with the prohibition was studied in several areas, including bars, hotels and general office areas which allowed individuals to smoke. It was found that suspended particles, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and other unnatural admissions were found at significantly higher levels before the smoking ban, with most that were no longer suspended in the air after the ban was put into full effect. This particular application showed a difference in the smoking ban as well as the reasons why it was affecting the health of those who were smoking indoors (Gorini, 2005).  

The smoking ban that was placed in the different venues had an extreme reaction with both health and the environmental effects with the air. Because of this, many began to re-examine the need to have smoking bans in a variety of places as well as how this would start to affect the environment and the health of those involved. The most recent change has occurred in New York City, where Mayor Bloomberg has banned smoking in public parks. There are also considerations to stop smoking with coastlines that are throughout the region. The ban has been passed with a vote of 36-12 with fines of up to $100, which can be imposed if one is caught in specific outdoor areas smoking cigarettes. It is also known that Los Angeles City Parks and Chicago Parks with playgrounds have a ban on smoking cigarettes and reinforce the measures in the same way as New York City is working toward (BBC, 2011).  

The smoking bans in the parks are an extension of the recognized effects and differences which were made with the indoor bans that occurred. 

This included both the environmental air pollution, which caused changes as well as the ability to catch second-hand smoke when in the same outdoor area as a smoker. It is believed that the air nicotine levels as well as the consistency with the second-hand smoke, don’t differ from the indoor to an outdoor area. 

If one is in the same vicinity as the smokers, then it can easily lead to the same cardiac problems as well as the environmental issues which are in the area. The result is the inability to get the correct options for health while remaining unhealthy for both the environment through pollution and for others that are exposed to this through their health (Repace, 2004).

Another application being considered with the outdoor smoking bans is coming from the harmful effects which this may have on children and youth that are in the surrounding area. The perceived prevalence which comes from smoking is one which alters children or youth’s mindset toward smoking with the belief that smoking is acceptable and not harmful to one’s health. The social acceptability is also noted as acceptable, mostly if it is seen within a public area, such as a park. Most children aren’t allowed in the areas where smoking has been banned, making these bans irrelevant to the influences on youth. However, if a kid is at a park and sees an adult smoking, then this sends a message that the smoking is permitted and that it is accepted socially by all that are in the surrounding area. The harm is then not only a part of the health factors but also risks into the negative messages which are sent to youth and children (Thomson, Siegel, 2005).  

The concept of influences among children and youth is one which is explicitly noted through stage-specific psychological and social effects. The development of a child through several stages is known to have a direct impact on how a child thinks and what they believe is acceptable, either consciously or subconsciously. If there are specific actions are taken when a child is younger. If it is seen repetitively by several individuals, then there is a psychological influence which shows that this particular behaviour is acceptable. Often, children will begin to imitate this if there isn’t an understanding of the hazards that are associated with specific actions. As children get older and move into youth, then development continues to move in this manner. However, the influences aren’t as psychological and instead are conveyed through social acceptance. Social acceptance is based on seeing others, including adults that are acting on specific behaviours, such as smoking. As this is seen, it becomes more socially acceptable to the stages and what is occurring within the region (Richardson, 2002).  

The responses among youth and children are not the only behavioural and social influences which are associated with smoking in public areas. It is also noted that smokers and those who don’t smoke are psychologically influenced by others which may smoke in an environment. After the initial smoking ban was reinforced, the number of smokers decreased with those who smoked regularly reduce the amount of intake by almost 2%. The reinforcement of being able to smoke in an area was known to create the initiative of more smoking. When this was no longer available, then the behaviours began to alter. The reinforcement that is now in society is based on the ability to smoke in public spaces. If smokers and non – smokers find this as socially acceptable, then they will continue to follow this pattern and behaviour. However, changing this will also alter how individuals think about their ways of action through social acceptance that is a part of society (Tidey, 2009).  

The central concept, which is now being looked into, precisely because of the beginning of the smoking ban in 2002, is the concept of out of sight, out of mind initiatives. If there isn’t the ability to smoke in a specific area, then smokers automatically begin to stop thinking about a cigarette and go through a sense of withdrawal instead. As this happens, it increases the health not only of the environment and others which are associated with the region. It also begins to positively affect smokers to start cutting back on smoking and to improve their health by no more prolonged smoking. By doing this, the smoking ban can stop and psychologically assist those who are addicted to cigarettes to quit smoking and to begin changing the approaches to support the health issues of smokers, as well as for the environment and non – smokers (Parry, Patty, 2000).  

Analysis

From the different concepts related to the smoking ban, it can be seen that there are positive effects in reinforcing the prohibition in the outdoors, as well as in the indoor areas. When this was supported in bars, hospitality areas and in workspaces, it had several positive changes. This included clearing the air of harmful substances that remained stagnant in a given area. This was followed by assisting second-hand smokers in having better health while dramatically improving the cardiovascular activities of those in society in a short period. The smoking ban was also known to psychologically help smokers to stop thinking about smoking while in a given area, precisely because of the prohibitions that were initiated in different regions. As it was recognized that there wasn’t the ability to smoke, cigarette users began to cut back on the amount of smoking that was done in a given area.  

The positive developments which followed the smoking ban of 2002 are one which will continue to emerge as the bans in public places occurs. 

However, there are also other engagements with positive reinforcement. The first is with the psychological aspects of children and youth. 

When smoking in public, it may seem that smoking is acceptable and is a behaviour practised by adults. If this is a continuous action, then the children may begin to develop subconscious patterns of believing in smoking as one which is practised by several adults, later mimicking the results. 

For youth, there is a belief that smoking is socially acceptable. This may lead to several children beginning to smoke at an earlier age while creating psychological responses from those who are in development stages about the acceptability of smoking.  

It has been found that this particular development is not only one which may be prevented with bans on smoking in outdoor areas. Recent studies suggest (Wakefield, 2004) that the concept of tobacco begins with youth looking at others intentions and behaviours with tobacco. 

As youth are exposed to this behaviour, they begin to look at reinforcing social acceptance. The intention of not smoking is usually the main component which kid will state. However, after five years, the youth will begin to smoke cigarettes. It can be assumed that it is not the intent of the child to start smoking, but instead, these are patterns that are reinforced from the behaviours of others which make it socially acceptable to smoke. The influence of peers and others that are smoking in society then further this initiative, causing the harm based on environmental exposure and the amount of smoking which one sees. This justifies smoking as acceptable within the company and adds into the industries which are taken by youth in society (Wakefield, 2004).  

The psychological evidence shows that the concept of smoking while beginning with the problems and hazards of pollution and second-hand smoke, are only the beginning problems of smoking in public. The smoking bans of the past have proven that health and the need to smoke, as well as environmental air, have all changed significantly without the smoke that is indoors. The psychological implications, specifically with children and youth, also remain as a prevalent measure among smoking in society. It also shows that there are implications among smokers who can smoke in public spaces and the psychological associations and behaviours that may change if one is no longer able to carry forward with this habit. By changing the associations in the environment of smoking, it will also begin to change the social acceptance and the responses and behaviours among those in society.  

Even though there are several prospects and lively areas of reinforcement, sites of resistance also need to be considered. The first is from consumers who want to smoke and feel that the bans are creating the inability for the individuals to enjoy the public space, precisely because it is outdoors. The primary reaction is one which questions the rights of the individual as well as the general concept, which means that every individual should have the right to express him or herself and to do what is needed within a given area freely. The main area of resistance comes from the belief that there is not a socially fair treatment to those who smoke and those who don’t, specifically by implying that the places which are now acceptable for smoking will no longer provide a safe place for smoking. As the boundaries continue to widen, smokers continue to react by showing that this specific ban is one which is impeding on the rights of individuals, specifically within public spaces (Brockner, 2006). While this was an area of resistance indoors, it could easily be controlled by corporations and those who were running the businesses. 

However, for the outdoor areas, the resistance may be more robust, and reinforcement is required from the government. 

This makes the impediment and the resistance from smokers as a stronger reaction.  

The reaction is one which is not only being seen from the controls and the resistance from the inability to do what one wishes in a public area. There is also resistance because the ban will come from government officials, as opposed to being imposed by the corporations in which one goes to. While there were governments which imposed the smoking ban on hospitality areas and public spaces, it was the corporations that had to change the rules and to comply with the changes. If not, then they were held liable for the changes made. The difference with this specific ban is based on the government that will be interacting with those in parks and on an individual basis, specifically with fines which will be given if one is caught smoking in the gardens. 

The problem is one which leads to the belief that the government is imposing on the rights of citizens with an attitude that is trying to control the individuals, either through a socialist or imperialist perspective. The level of discomfort and the disagreements which may occur then move beyond the smoking ban and into political intrusions of public areas that many may be opposed to. 

While this may not be the intent of the government, the reactions from individuals will show a relationship to the ban based on personal responses to the current political status within a country (Lam, 2002).  

Another reaction which is opposing the ban is coming from the cigarette companies and the corporations which are involved in selling the cigarettes. 

The cigarette companies have a large amount of profit which comes from selling the products, as well as third-party sellers that can increase revenue from the sales. More critical, places which are located next to parks and which have a connection to the given areas can increase revenue because there is a place to go outside and to smoke. Each of these groups of individuals has stated that outdoor smoking bans will create dents in the economic structure and will negatively impact the economy of a given area. The cigarette companies may decrease revenue from individuals who can’t smoke in as many areas. There also may be economic changes from the businesses allocated next to the parks where individuals may go because it is simple to go outdoors, smoke a cigarette and come back into the given area. The adverse reaction is one which came first from the indoor smoking ban, where 79% of restaurants stated that there was a difference in the economy of the place and 71% said that this was negative. The decrease in revenue and the inability to invite individuals who could smoke inside is one which has continued to lead to a negative economic impact for those who want to smoke (Hitt, 2005).  

Conclusions and Recommendations

The several implications for the smoking ban in public parks in London show that several positive impacts are associated with this new law. 

However, there are also levels of resistance coming from a social viewpoint as well as the potential impacts that may occur in the economy because of the ban. These are similar to the negative implications associated with the indoor smoking ban and the responses which it created in various places. The answer is one which implies both economic and political responses that may impact those in society. However, the positive social, cultural and psychological implications are pointing to a more robust debate with those who are interested in the outdoor smoking ban.  

The main problem which has arisen is based on the concerns and experiences that are associated with the ban as well as the results which this led to with the past smoking ban. The information which has been retrieved is one which is based on the smoking ban of 2002 as well as the expectations that are from the psychological theories of today (Sciacca, 2006). The two sides to this are then only based on the ideas which are associated with the ban as well as the intent to increase the ban to public and outdoor areas. 

To determine whether this has positive or negative effects psychologically, socially or economically, the ban will need to be implemented. This will decide whether London needs to make any changes or whether the prohibition works for the positive outcome of society.  

By implementing the ban in one area first, there will be the ability to study the reactions, both positive and negative, and whether this is polluting the social minds of children and the implications in terms of health and the environment. After this is studied, adjustments can be made in terms of the ban. There also can be information collected about the economic changes and the different mindset of those who smoke in public areas. 

By determining these factors through research and a pilot study, it will become easier to decide whether the ban should be implemented or not. More importantly, this will gather more support for those interested in the ban, so the debate can hold against those who oppose the ban.  

With the current information, the smoking ban in parks in London will work effectively in helping with the general condition of society. However, this will remain ineffective unless there are data and proof to further initiate the understanding of the hazards of smoking in terms of environment, health and social structures (Hafstad, 2007). By implementing a policy that has practical implications and which shows how this will help with the well – being of the community, there will be the possibility of changing the hazards associated with smoking both indoors and in outdoor vicinities.

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