I would like to discuss the controversy caused by the recent banned smoking laws.

On October 1, 2007, the government put into effect rules which ban people from smoking inside public buildings, including restaurants, and within five feet from the entrance into public buildings.

If anyone is caught smoking within these areas, they are fined and employees are fired. The laws have been center of conversation for smokers and non-smokers since they came into effect October.

Most people strongly support or disagree with the smoking ban laws.

The laws have affected people, regardless of smoking preference, and businesses.

Banned smoking laws are causing upset among Americans across the country due to the laws single-out smokers, increased expense for smokers, and loss of business for businesses.

Smokers and non-smokers have different opinions of the banned smoking laws.

There are people in both groups who believe the laws should not have been put in place. Many argue with the fact that America is a free country and people should have a choice of whether or not to smoke.

While some argue the air is cleaner and the environment safer, others argue the environment was already safe with a proper ventilation system.

Some people believe they are treated like they are using an illegal substance when using tobacco. Alcohol continues to be allowed in different settings, although the dangers of the use of alcohol has been proven many times, but tobacco is banned.

Many smokers argue they continue to pay high taxes to the government when buying cigarettes, but are not allowed to smoke in public.

The cost for smokers to continue to smoke has increased. Cigarette taxes continue to rise. The banned smoking laws are causing police enforcement to pay attention to large amounts of cigarettes being bought out-of-state, which would cause another state government to receive the cigarette taxes.

Thirty states in the United States do not allow their employees to smoke while not on-duty, if they are caught smoking while not on-duty they are fired.

Many businesses do not hire employees because they use tobacco.

Employees who use tobacco are forced to pay higher insurance premiums.

Businesses are beginning to see a decrease in business since the banned smoking laws. Restaurants and bars are among the businesses with the largest loss.

People who support the banned smoking laws state there would be more non-smoker customers coming in to replace the few smoking customers who have left.

Businesses state customers are just simply not coming in to the business.

States that have been under banned smoking laws for a long period of time, report up to 40% loss of business in one month. Other businesses that have been under banned smoking laws for a longer period of time report having to lay-off employees or possibly close smaller businesses.

During a time when business was already slower than normal, many business owners are concerned. Most Americans want a safe environment, but many Americans believe banning smoking in public buildings, the building entrances, causing increased cost to smokers, and decreased business sales is not the answer.

Many people, including some non-smokers, feel the laws are too strict. Other people feel too much attention has been placed on smokers.

Some people feel it is unfair to penalize smokers by not being eligible for employment or increased insurance premiums. Many business owners are concerned about the loss of their smoking customers will be harmful to their business. People across the country have different opinions and attitudes toward the banned smoking laws.

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