Smoking in public: A moral imperative for the most toxic of environmental wastes

Journal of Business Ethics 10 (1):23 - 27 (1991)
Abstract
Cigarette smoke is the most dangerous of the toxic elements in our environment. Smoking is responsible for almost 500 000 deaths each year in the United States — more than any other environmental toxin. The medical evidence is clear, mainstream and sidestream smoke kills people, and anyone who participates in the spreading of this smoke is acting unethically. Yet, when there are no governmental laws that ban smoking in public, most business-people allow smoking in their places of business. These businesspeople are acting in an unethical manner, a manner which endangers customers and employees. This paper examines the impact on the environment of smoking in public and concludes that businesses must move quickly to ban smoking, or we will need nationwide, uniform legal restrictions to force ethical action in this critical area.
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