The following letter was in the SC Times this morning. While the potential smoking ban keeps getting attention, the skeptics of secondhand smoke run rampant in Story Chat.
Letter: Difference: Secondhand smoke hurts other people
By Carol Jenkins St. Joseph
I recently read with interest an article in the St. Cloud Times headlined "Legislature may target smoking."
At long last it looks like there is recognition of Minnesota's overwhelming support for a comprehensive, statewide smoke-free law. A telephone survey taken this summer showed voters in Central Minnesota support such a law nearly 3-to-1.
I then read with dismay that an opponent of the ban predicts that cheeseburgers will be next on the list. I generally support a limited role for government, but I am puzzled by the ban opponent's analogy between smoking tobacco and eating a cheeseburger.
Unless the opponent is aware of some physical phenomenon I've never heard of, the act of consuming a cheeseburger does not produce a byproduct that physically hurts other people in the surrounding area. The act of smoking does.
Any level of this byproduct, secondhand smoke, is dangerous. Ventilation systems don't work well and nonsmoking sections don't provide the protection implied.
Individual consumption of a cheeseburger is fundamentally different from smoking; the costs of secondhand smoke are involuntarily imposed on others.
The safety of our children and workers is at stake here. Workers deserve a workplace free of toxins. Children deserve smoke-free environments. Nonsmokers have the right to breathe smoke-free air. So do smokers. Contact your local and state officials to voice your support for a smoke-free community.
Number of Posts: 358
Comment Posted: 12/18/2006 12:52:39 AM
Deaths from global warming: ZERO
Deaths from 2nd hand smoke: ZERO
Deaths from drowning in the U.S. every year: 3,500
Deaths from omnipotent Big Brother over the past century: Millions!!!!!!
Number of Posts: 353
Comment Posted: 12/18/2006 1:19:13 AM
Casey, who do you think is responsible for the funding that keeps the smokers alive at any cost when they are too poor to afford insurance but always manage to buy that pack of cigs? Would that be the same govt that is trying to regulate smoking? Actually...it ALL borders on hypocrisy. Phillip Morris pretends to be concerned about teen smokers, when that has ALWAYS been their goal: to get teens hooked. THEN, they (Phillip Morris) further pretends to be concerned about helping pple QUIT smoking. Say...isn't Phillip Morris a 'corporation'? Who exactly has made them a billion dollar industry one wonders.
Big Red from the Badlands
Number of Posts: 353
Comment Posted: 12/18/2006 1:22:31 AM
Casey...what about all the lung cancer deaths of those who HAVE smoked? Don't you ever wonder about those of us who were exposed for YEARS to exhaled smoke, casey? Do you really think that is 'safe air'. Archie does....so it must be, btw!
Archie from Coon Rapids
Number of Posts: 318 C
omment Posted: 12/18/2006 2:03:46 AM
To Big Red:
More people have died from climbing Mt Hood today than have died from second hand smoke in the history of hysterical anti smoking propaganda.
Don't like smoking.? don't
Dont like being "bothered" by SHS, don't go where it is legally used,
Don't like the idiosyncracies and odors and different smells of a free society? move to Cuba.
count from countyline
Number of Posts: 95
Comment Posted: 12/18/2006 5:13:17 AM
Amazing that some people who are strongly against secondhand smoke burn wood in their house.
That "lovely" smell of wood burning is SMOKE that you are smelling and if you can smell it you are breathing it.
TOF from the North Woods
Number of Posts: 15
Comment Posted: 12/18/2006 7:54:19 AM
It's a public health issue. The government has regulated public health for years. Should we make cleanliness in restaurants optional? Perhaps a salmonella section and a non-salmonella section? Smokers have every right to smoke wherever they want as long as they keep the smoke in their own bodies.
Ryan S from Sartell
Number of Posts: 28
Comment Posted: 12/18/2006 9:18:48 AM
Smoking Kills. No question about that. But smoking is legal, and private property is private property.
This quote by Zippit, however..."Deaths from omnipotent Big Brother over the past century: Millions!!!!!!" is interesting...
...Religion has killed even more.
pro-non choice from Sartell
Number of Posts: 49
Comment Posted: 12/18/2006 10:21:09 AM
Got ya Joseph, You mean like calling people nazi's because they disagree with you? Hmm. You must not be able to argue very effectively because you have to turn them into an instant enemy to aid your cause.
Who gave people the right to smoke in public areas in the first place?
Was it given or assumed?
Again, another day of interesting comments at Story Chat.
Much like anything that forces people to change a bad habit, we reject the premise of harm, we fight that premise, and then eventually, we accept it, at a greater cost. What will this cost truly be? More death and higher health care costs.