Every year, over 50,000 non-smokers die from the effects of secondhand smoke. That means thousands of people involuntarily inhale over 4,000 chemicals, poisons, and cancer causing agents. Secondhand smoke can cause death, infections, cancer, illnesses, and pregnancy issues. Personally, I don't like smelling chemicals that I can't even pronounce.
So what does the government do about this worldwide problem? So far, 23 states, including Nebraska, have passed laws prohibting smoking in public places, government buildings, and workplaces. In Nebraska, the tax on cigarettes nearly doubled. There are no advertising or promotion laws.
Nebraska does have laws to help protect against secondhand smoke, so you'd think they'd be enforced. The only way someone can get caught for breaking these laws is if a phone number is called to warn about violators.
I believe as a nonsmoker that when I go out in public, I have the right to not inhale secondhand smoke because it is disgusting and could kill me. Today for example, I was volunteering at an animal shelter, and a man was smoking. Do I have the right as a teenager to call and report him as a law breaker? Technically, yes. But, I think that smoking laws should be enforced just as much as other laws. If they made laws to protect the public, why aren't they enforced? Why make laws if they aren't going to be used?
I think that Nebraska's smoking bans are a decent start for protecting people against the tragedies of secondhand smoke. It's time for Nebraska to enforce laws and start acting on this worldwide problem.