Friday, October 16, 2009

Smoking As A Negative Externality

I discussed negative externalities in all of may face-to-face classes this semester. Negative externalities are costs imposed on third parties without compensation. There a was recent story called Smoking Bans Protect Nonsmokers' Hearts by LAURAN NEERGAARD, AP Medical Writer. Here are the key experpts:

"More than 126 million nonsmoking people in the U.S. are regularly exposed to someone else's tobacco smoke. The surgeon general in 2006 cited "overwhelming scientific evidence" that tens of thousands die each year as a result, from heart disease, lung cancer and a list of other illnesses."

A review of

"...11 key studies of smoking bans in parts of the U.S., Canada, Italy and Scotland ...found drops in the number of heart attacks that ranged from 6 percent to 47 percent."

"While heavier exposure to secondhand smoke is worse, there's no safe level ... even less than an hour's exposure might be enough to push someone already at risk of a heart attack over the edge."

"within minutes, the smoke's pollution-like small particles and other substances can start constricting blood vessels and increasing blood's propensity to clot — key heart attack factors."

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