SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Ban on smoking?
By Marshall Kelly


July 04, 2007

Many restaurants offer a non-smoking atmosphere in the state of Alaska. Several eateries in Ketchikan are "non-smoking" establishments already and what few remain that give thier patrons a choice of "smoking" or "non-smoking" have a good distance between the seating areas as well as ventillation systems. There is also the individual's choice as to whether or not to submit themselves to the deadly effects of second hand smoke and meal ruining odors before placing an order at a split-section establishment. I usually do not eat in restaurants I do not feel comfortable in for whatever reason.

Many families bring small children to dine out with them. These children become unhappy and begin to squawk, sometimes for the entire duration of the family's meal. This creates an unwanted atmosphere for me and my "well behaved" family during our outing and causes stress. Stress leads to ulcers, ulcers to intestinal discomfort, intestinal discomfort to gastrointestinal infections and eventually death. I do not think a campaign to remove squawking babies from restaurants would be successful merely because I stand a good chance of eventually dying from "squawking-baby-induced-gastrointestinal-erosion", so I will suck it up, eat my Tums and don my earplugs.

Windows are frequently installed in most restaurants. Harmful ultraviolet rays travel through these windows and bathe the patrons in the warm sun while seated at thier favorite diner. These UV rays have been proven to cause, you guessed it, CANCER! This usually only occurs at window seats while in the direct sunlight but the risk is there, nonetheless. Most diners choose the window seats, bravely place their orders, and seldom wear sunblock. The window seats are usually "non-smoking" thus balancing the risk of cancer evenly throughout the establishment.

One has only to check the ingredients of the menu items to become alarmed at the amount of cholesterol, fat, sugar, calories,and carcinogens one's favorite dish may include. Germs in the cleanest of kitchens still loom in and around all the food prepared for our consumption, no matter the presentation or the price of the dish. I won't even start on the lavatory segment of this diatribe. We all hurl ourselves into this situation with the faith the laws and legislation that were passed are fully understood by the 19 year old server that just got over the flu.... kind of.

Citizens in many states favored bans of smoking in all public venues. We still could ban smoking in Alaska, but I'm bringing my "squawking baby" legislation to the ballot at the same time. These are rights given to everyone in this country and many have fought to the bitter end to protect them for better or for worse. Smoking is a dangerous addiction that is an archaic pastime and does do many bad things to many people. For over two hundred years people have been dying in this country because of smoking. Since the dawn of time people have been dying for opinions, usually opinions of others, and they never even got to choose what section they wanted to sit in.

Marshall Kelly
Ketchikan, AK

Received July 03, 2007 - Published July 04, 2007


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Stories In The News
Ketchikan, Alaska