by Denise Buker
April 14, 2004
Well, I would just like to take a moment to voice my two cents
on secondhand smoke.
I am ALL FOR a smoking ban in public places. I would not mind
if bars or casinos were allowed to have smokers fill their air
with toxins (mainly because I do not go to these types of places).
But when it comes to going somewhere to get a bite to eat or
spend an evening out with my husband and my son, I would desperately
appreciate going to a place where I do not have to deal with
the horrendous stench of cigarette smoke. Personally, I am allergic
to the smoke, as is my husband, and my son will probably be allergic
as well. I end up with a stuffy nose and swollen eyes for almost
two days AFTER I have been exposed to cigarette smoke. Along
with that, I have asthma. People with asthma are seriously affected
by cigarette smoke. Yeah sure, there are medications that I
can take to soothe these symptoms of being exposed to the smoke,
but what is going to save my lungs from being tarred and blackened
from the secondhand smoke I was exposed to while out minding
my own business trying to have a nice evening out with my family?
Secondhand smoke is MORE toxic than actually smoking! I have
witnessed death due to exposure of secondhand smoke. My mother's
friend of many years had died from exposure to her husband's
smoking. She had developed Emphysema and she had never smoked
a cigarette in her life!! Many reports and studies have been
done to tell us that cigarette smoke is toxic and EVERYONE who
is exposed is at risk of health problems.
Did you know that if a smoker quits smoking, it will take ten
years for his/her lungs to heal?
YES, I believe it is very sad that the people in the position
to make change in this town have failed by not approving a smoking
ban. So many young children who are not able to make the choice
of being exposed to these smoker's toxins are truly the people
our elected officials should have been thinking about when they
decided not to forge ahead with a smoking ban. I believe that
we as a community cannot take these children and ourselves for
granted. We cannot allow ourselves to be blinded by the glitz
and glamour of smoking. We cannot think of this as a "freedom
of choice" issue for the smoker. If we do that, then, what
about MY "freedom of choice" to have a healthy environment
to breathe and live in?
We have to face the reality of the effects of secondhand smoke
on everyone and make that reality into law! Well, I guess I
gave you my FIVE cents worth!
Ketchikan, AK - USA
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