Coffee and Cigarettes
Second-Hand Smoke and Smoke-Free Laws
Department of Biological Sciences
This analysis case explores second-hand smoke and its impact on the decision to institute a smoking ban in the outdoor seating area of a popular coffee bar. In working through the case, students discuss the medical, ethical, legal, and societal issues of smoking in public areas. in addition, they devise experimental schemes for collecting data to determine how profitability is affected by a smoking ban. The case could be used in many science courses, including introductory biology and chemistry, in addition to liberal arts courses that deal with public policy, such as political science or civics. It could also be used in a course in public health or adapted to a business/management class.
- To discuss the medical, ethical, and societal issues of second-hand tobacco smoke that surround the passing of laws regarding smoking in indoor public areas.
- To present the positive and negative arguments regarding the issue of smoking in outdoor public areas.
- To propose scientific methods/tools that can be used to determine whether smoking should be permitted in the public outdoor area of a particular business establishment.
KeywordsSecond-hand smoke; smoking ban; civil rights; public policy; Pennsylvania Clean Indoor Air Act; Big Tobacco
Educational LevelHigh school, Undergraduate lower division
Type MethodsAnalysis (Issues), Discussion
Subject HeadingsBiology (General) | Public Health | Business / Management Science |