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  • 2018.10.19
  • Essay
  • 中&上級

Second-hand smoke at home

家での喫煙をめぐる議論

家での喫煙をめぐる議論© Getty Images

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英文を見る

Should you be allowed to smoke at home?

This may seem like a ridiculous question. After all, why can’t you smoke in a place you call your own?

Unfortunately, this question has been in the news in Singapore recently, and it has ignited a fiery debate between smokers and nonsmokers.

It started when some members of Parliament sought stronger rules against smokers in flats because their second-hand smoke may affect neighbours. Apparently, many residents like to puff up out their windows.

Given the proximity of flats in Singapore, the cigarette smoke would often make its way into neighbours’ flats. To avoid inhaling the smoke, the neighbours, especially those with children at home, would be forced to close the windows. A local newspaper interviewed a resident who chose to go the passive-aggressive route by spraying scented insecticide in the direction of the smoke.

I do not smoke, and I haven’t had the problem of second-hand smoke wafting in my direction either. But the problem must be quite severe for some, hence the suggestion that smoking at home be completely banned.

Many advocates of the ban point out that smokers may be trying to protect their families from second-hand smoke, but by lighting up at their balconies or windows they are only endangering innocent neighbours. Of course, the irony isn’t lost on anyone.

On the other hand, critics maintain that it’s important to give and take, given Singapore’s diverse population. A ban may seem like an easy solution, but is it really the best one? After all, we can always choose to speak with our neighbours and explore a compromise.

If we ban anything and everything that disturbs our neighbours, what kind of an environment are we creating? Even if a ban were introduced, how effective would it be? How would it be enforced?

As it is, smokers in Singapore have had to deal with a dramatic decline in smoking spaces. Orchard Road, a major attraction for shoppers and tourists, is to be smoke-free by the end of this year. Smoking has also been snuffed out in most buildings. Even traditional eateries, where smoking was common, have clearly marked areas for smokers and non-smokers.

Yes, smoking harms not just smokers, but those around them. But a delicate balance has to be struck between protecting individual and collective rights. If we set more rules, we may end up creating a more divisive society.

What would help is open communication. Talk to your neighbours nicely and if that doesn’t work, perhaps other parties can be brought in to help with negotiations. Both smokers and non-smokers can surely be more considerate and sensitive to one another.

重要ボキャブラリーを見る

ridiculous
(形)ばかげた、おかしい
◆ridiculous plan(ばかげた計画)
◆The teacher scolded the boy for his ridiculous behavior in class.
(先生は授業中のばかげた行動を理由に少年を叱った)
☞ridiculously(副)ばかげて、おかしく

apparently
(副)どうも~らしい、見たところでは
◆Although it was apparently a very sunny day, we were surprised when it started raining so hard.
(一見よく晴れていたようだが、雨が激しく降り始めて驚いた)
☞apparent(形)明白な、明らかな

inhale
(動)(肺まで)吸い込む、吸入する
◆Some people with allergies use dust masks in the spring to avoid inhaling pollen.
(アレルギーがある人の中には、花粉を吸い込まないよう春に防塵マスクを使う人もいる)
☞exhale(動)(息などを)吐き出す
☞inhalation(名)吸入

waft
(動)(空中や波に)漂う、浮動する
(名)そよ風
◆The smell of my mother’s freshly baked cookies wafted from the kitchen to my room.
(母の焼きたてのクッキーのにおいがキッチンから私の部屋に漂った)

hence
(副)それゆえに
◆Sally just moved to a new town, hence she didn’t have any friends there.
(サリーは新しい町に引っ越したばかりなのでそこには友達がいなかった)
※consequentlyやthereforeより硬い表現でおもに文書等で使われる

diverse
(形)多様な、異なる
◆diverse culture(多様な文化)
◆The company’s newest smartphone has many diverse features compared to the previous model.
(その会社の最新スマートフォンは従来のモデルに比べて多様な機能を備えている)
☞diversity(名)多様性

ban
(名)禁止、禁止令
(動)~を禁止する
◆The city approved of a law which bans smoking inside all restaurants, cafes and bars.
(市はすべてのレストランやカフェ、バーの店内での喫煙を禁止する法律を承認した)
☞banned(形)禁止された

compromise
(名)歩み寄り、妥協
(動)歩み寄る、妥協する
◆compromise proposal(妥協案)
◆After reaching a compromise on the sales price, we made and signed a contract.
(販売価格の妥協点を見出した後、我々は契約を結んで署名した)

collective
(形)集団の、共同の
(名)集団、共同体
◆the right of collective self-defense(集団的自衛権)
◆Michael took all of the collective opinions of his colleagues and sent an email to their manager.
(マイケルは同僚の総意を取りまとめ、マネージャーにメールを送った)
☞collectively(副)集団で、共同で

和訳を見る

Listening Comprehension Check

Q1. What can be bad about people who smoke at the windows or balconies of their flats?

  • A) It can easily cause a fire to happen.
  • B) The smoke can enter neighbours' flats.
  • C) It protects their families from second-hand smoke.

正解を見る

正解は、B
The smoke can enter neighbours’ flats.

Vocabulary Review Quiz

Q1. This may seem like a ( ) question.

  • A) ridiculous
  • B) ripple
  • C) renewing

正解を見る

正解は、A
ridiculous

Q2. ( ), many residents like to puff up out their windows.

  • A) Apparently
  • B) Adhere
  • C) Administer

正解を見る

正解は、A
Apparently

Q3. To avoid ( ) the smoke, the neighbours, especially those with children at home, would be forced to close the windows.

  • A) exhaling
  • B) invoking
  • C) inhaling

正解を見る

正解は、C
inhaling

Q4. I do not smoke, and I haven’t had the problem of second-hand smoke ( ) in my direction either.

  • A) wailing
  • B) wafting
  • C) wafer

正解を見る

正解は、B
wafting

Q5. But the problem must be quite severe for some, ( ) the suggestion that smoking at home be completely banned.

  • A) hence
  • B) how
  • C) there

正解を見る

正解は、A
hence

Q6. On the other hand, critics maintain that it’s important to give and take, given Singapore’s ( ) population.

  • A) discerned
  • B) diverse
  • C) direction

正解を見る

正解は、B
diverse

Q7. A ( ) may seem like an easy solution, but is it really the best one?

  • A) bane
  • B) born
  • C) ban

正解を見る

正解は、C
ban

Q8. After all, we can always choose to speak with our neighbours and explore a ( ).

  • A) cooperation
  • B) connect
  • C) compromise

正解を見る

正解は、C
compromise

Q9. But a delicate balance has to be struck between protecting individual and ( ) rights.

  • A) collective
  • B) cohere
  • C) comment

正解を見る

正解は、A
collective

Speaking practice

Q1. How do you feel about people who smoke at the windows or balconies of their flats? Explain.※この問題に解答はありません

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