SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Children of Smokers
By Valerie Hendel


February 13, 2007
Tuesday PM

I am glad that people are talking about children and smoke. To Mr. McRoberts... I'm with ya brother! My sisters and I were bothered by dad's smoke when we were young. We tried asking politely but resorted to nagging and "no smoking" signs in the kitchen. We were not taken seriously. And "bothered" is too light a word.

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.

Valerie Hendel
Ketchikan, AK

Received February 13, 2007 - Published February 13, 2007



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Ketchikan, Alaska