Smoking is a detriment to human health and should not be tolerated under any circumstances; therefore, the city of Los Angeles should take the steps required to ban smoking in private areas to preserve the health and wellbeing of its residents and visitors. This ban may pose a challenge to the freedoms of some members of this population; however, this ban should be established to send a message that smoking is very dangerous and poses health risks to all persons. From a policy-based perspective, a ban on smoking may be viewed as an infringement upon the freedoms of persons to exercise their rights to smoke in private settings, which in Locke’s view, is a detriment to the commonwealth (Locke, 2008). Nonetheless, a ban on smoking is necessary in private settings because this activity poses a serious threat to society and may limit the ability of others to use their own freedoms to be in an environment where smoking is not tolerated.
As a basic argument of right versus wrong, smoking poses a threat to the virtue of humanity and requires a sacrifice for the greater good of society, in accordance with the views of John Stuart Mill (2016). However, this form of sacrifice must be in support of the happiness and contentment of the people who are affected by this change (Mill, 2016). This reflects the importance of sacrifice as part of a larger framework to achieve happiness and to do what is right for human beings that will have a positive impact on their own level of contentment (Mill, 2016).
It is necessary to evaluate the conditions under which this form of sacrifice is achieved and to determine if they benefit the greater good of society rather than serve the self-interest of a small group of people. In the case of a smoking ban in private locations, this serves the greater good of society at a high level because it emphasizes human health and contentment in different ways.
A successful ban on smoking in private locations may be controversial in some ways because it may be viewed as an infringement upon the right to act however one pleases in a private setting. However, this contradicts the basic principles of the human condition to achieve greater happiness and contentment through sacrifice (Mill, 2016). The dynamics of human behavior must be examined because they have a significant impact on society and its people; therefore, these issues must be considered as part of a larger framework to support the claims of this policy.
Most importantly, smoking causes irreversible damage to the health and wellbeing of all persons and should not be tolerated under any circumstances. Some may argue to the contrary that it is a personal choice and a risk that they are willing to take; however, this does not take into consideration the clearly defined and well-supported argument of secondhand smoke and its impact on human health. Therefore, this overrides any opportunities for personal choice that may be argued because there is no context in which smoking does not affect other human beings and the surrounding environment. In this context, smoking is a public issue with serious implications for all persons, even in private settings.
One perspective to consider is if personal freedoms are disrupted by the smoking ban in private locations and if this is an infringement upon the rights and privileges of living in a democratic nation. One consideration is the concept of two forms of liberty, whereby human beings are afforded opportunities for freedom that may be at the expense of other persons and which require the sacrifice of these persons to achieve this goal (Berlin, 1958). However, this also reflects the importance of taking all things at face value and in understanding that there are not two types of freedom that occur; rather, a compromise must occur that emphasizes the importance of preserving freedom for all persons and that supports the desires of people throughout society to achieve their goals and objectives (Berlin, 1958).
The adoption of a smoking ban in private locations may pose challenges to the ability of all persons to conform to a set of policies that generally apply only in public settings. However, all persons must abide by different sets of rules throughout their lives, and in this context, a ban on smoking in private is no different. This requires all persons to understand that smoking is not an inalienable right and that this behavior does not occur without posing serious consequences not only for the smoker, but also for other people. Therefore, this requires the smoker to assume and accept a different point of view and to acknowledge that smoking is detrimental to his or her own health, not to mention the health of others who are affected by secondhand smoke; therefore, this should serve as the starting point in addressing the need for a private smoking ban throughout the city.
A widespread ban on smoking in private locations in the city of Los Angeles may be viewed as extreme to some persons who smoke and others who do not, but it is the only logical and practical choice to potentially improve the health and wellbeing of people throughout this densely populated community. This mandate requires the full cooperation of all residents and visitors of Los Angeles to adhere to the regulation and to support the freedom to be free from any type of environment where smoking occurs because this has numerous health benefits for all persons Since this involves human freedom and liberty, a philosophical argument for or against the ban is likely; however, this ban will preserve the integrity and freedom of the people of Los Angeles and will have a lasting impact on their freedom and most importantly, their quality of life.
Berlin, I. (1958). Two concepts of liberty. From Four Essays on Liberty. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Locke, J. (2008). Second treatise of government. Retrieved from http://www.earlymoderntexts.com/assets/pdfs/locke1689a.pdf
Mill, J.S. (2016). Utilitarianism. Retrieved from https://www.utilitarianism.com/mill2.htm