People should butt out in public places

By Jen Jones
Hope Secondary School
Hope, British Columbia

The Workers' Compensation Board in British Columbia has created a law against smoking in workplaces or buildings in order to create a safe and healthy workplace for all workers in this province. On April 15, 1998 they took action. It wasn't until January 1, 2000 that the standards of this new law fully applied to the workplaces.


I'm sure I'm not the only one who is getting sick of listening to people complain, and feel sorry for themselves about the new smoking ban. The Workers' Compensation Board www.worksafebc.com. has banned smoking in all work places. I didn't think adults could be so immature. I was watching BCTV news and there were mothers swearing, and putting on such a show, saying that by the end of January they would be out on the streets. They put all of the blame on WCB.

It shouldn't be such a big surprise that this law was going to come into place. Workplaces knew months before this that there would be no smoking in workplaces. After these months of knowing about it, when January approaches, people start freaking out, like it came out of no where or something! Some people are angry because their business has slowed down a lot. In my opinion, this dead period is not only because of the new law, but because the holiday season has ended. People are out of money. Also, more people that do smoke and have decided that they can't go out anymore will probably adjust to the idea and just have their cigarette, then go out.

It really is just a polite thing to get up and smoke outside. I don't think it is fair for a person who has chose not to smoke to have to sit their and breathe in someone else's second hand smoke. If cigarette smoking wasn't so bad for our health I think the situation would be different. Say you are a person who smokes and you go over to a friend's house. They don't smoke. You don't just light up a cigarette in their home. You usually go outside. Well, the same should go when you are in a restaurant. Just because you don't know everyone in the restaurant doesn't mean that you can't be polite to them.

There is usually an upside and a downside to bad habits. This downside is that you have to go outside. I'm not completely, 100% for this new ban. After I have listened to many, many points of view I have started to see the other side. I do have some sympathy for the senior citizens of BC. We are taught to respect them, as they are our elders. It just wouldn't be right to make an elderly man, or woman stand out in the cold to have their cigarette.

There are constantly changes being made like this. I realize there are businesses suffering, and they don't feel it's fair for someone else to take control of their bar/club/restaurant, but like all new rules, people will adjust. In the long run, it will be better for the majority of people.