By Valerie Hendel
February 13, 2007
Smokers may not realize that non-smokers are sickened by the smoke. The result for me is that I have to use an inhaler. I struggle and experience pain on hikes or any activity that requires exertion. Because my lungs don't exchange oxygen/carbon dioxide correctly, large muscles deprived of oxygen begin to cramp. If I go to a social event where there is smoke, I am sick for about two days afterward. Smoking sections in restaurants don't address the issue for non-smokers (smoke doesn't stay in boundaries) so I try to stick to non-smoking establishments. This is awkward socially. My sisters have the same symptoms. The doctor said that this is a common result of having grown up in a smoking environment. We never had a choice.
Talking publicly about my health is not comfortable but if even one smoker who smokes around others will change their etiquette, perhaps it's worth it. If something we do has ill effects on someone else...have a care. And then we wouldn't need laws.
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