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more on smoking

I'm awake for a few minutes and want to continue my thought from earlier. It took me some 15 minutes to write that post because I kept falling asleep. That is very unusual for me--I've been known to write 30 KB in one afternoon!

For a person with respiratory illness, among other things that cause warnings to stay away from secondhand smoke, there is nothing worse than sitting in a smoke-filled environment. I am normally happy to acknowledge that while I may not like other people's choices, I am not free to trample on them. However, in the case of smoking, those choices affect my right--my need--to breathe clean air. If I get into a taxi where the driver has just put out his cigarette, I still breathe the residue smoke. If people are smoking outside a building, they don't smoke away from the door. They smoke right in front of it, and I must walk through a tunnel of smoke as they talk to each other so that I can enter the building. Even restaurants that have smoking sections are often open so that the nonsmokers are still breathing residue smoke. I can't go and listen to my sister sing because the environments where she sings are smoke-filled. She knows this and understands; but it still hurts because it costs us part of our relstionship. Music is the one thing we have in common, and I miss hearing her sing.

None of this will ever change, and I'm not sure why I'm posting it. If it helps one smoker understand nonsmokers' feelings, it will be useful. It is a little frightening to talk about my feelings in public; but I need to. Respiratory illness is more common than many people realize. It isn't something you can see; and people who take good care of themselves and avoid provoking factors can sometimes go long stretches without becoming ill. But some of that avoidance depends on environmental factors. Being around too many allergens or too many pollutants can trigger an illness that lasts for weeks.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 30th, 2007 08:11 am (UTC)
I hear you. My mom was a long-time smoker. Since she quit earlier this year, I've noticed a drastic decrease in my sinus issues when I'm around her. I'm also much more sensitive to secondhand smoke now, since I'm not around it so much. A few weeks ago, I was talking to a neighbor and classmate about one of our assignments. She was smoking and blew the smoke directly into my face (because she's nice like that...). The rest of the afternoon, I had a headache and couldn't stop coughing.

New York State has laws that prohibit smoking in restaurants, bars, clubs, Etc. You also need to be at least 20 feet from the entrance of a building if you're smoking (although people rarely follow that part of the law...). Do you think that there's any chance of Indiana passing such a law?
Nov. 30th, 2007 12:06 pm (UTC)
Indiana and smoking laws
I would be surprised if Indiana passed a law like this, although I would be absolutely thrilled.
Nov. 30th, 2007 08:30 am (UTC)
I don't know if it's something that will never change. It seems to depend on where you live.

Here in BC it's illegal to smoke inside any public building. That includes restaurants, nightclubs, and bars. The law also says you must be standing at least 20 feet away from the entrance to such buildings when you smoke. Cabs, buses, and other public vehicles are also smoke-free, as are almost all apartments for rent. About the only place smokers in this province have to smoke is designated outdoor areas and their own homes and cars.

Just noticed the above poster says New York state has similar laws.

I don't know about in the States, but here in Canada cigarette packages also are required to have warnings and pictures on them of all the horrible health-related things smoking can do. Not sure whether all of this is affecting the number of people who smoke in general. I know few people my age who smoke, and generally (again, due to BC being so healthist/environmentalist) people who do are shunned by some people once they find out, so those who do smoke often try to hide it.

I don't understand smoking at all. I'm very glad BC has the laws that it does and that people follow them. I had asthma as a kid (that I've since pretty much outgrown) and remember having to leave a sleepover at a friend's house because their parents smoked and I couldn't breathe in their house even after using my inhaler. I personally will never understand why people even take up the habit ...
(Deleted comment)
Nov. 30th, 2007 03:29 pm (UTC)
Australia has similar laws to Canada.

Here the laws are provincial, not federal. So there are still provinces where you can smoke indoors. I wish it was federal, and we're moving in that direction, but as of now it's not.
Nov. 30th, 2007 04:18 pm (UTC)
Not only is it incredibly disgusting, there are people (like me) who are allergic to cigarrette smoke. I think that is part of the problem I have here at the house is our neighbor across the hall smokes SO MUCH that you can smell it in the hallway, and since her door is right across from ours, opening our door we get some of that coming in. And it's a nightmare for me because of my head. I had asthma as a kid and every now and then that kicks up too, I can't imagine how much worse it'd be for having it be active.
Restraunts and bars are finally smoke free here (except for private clubs) - but it pisses me off that if people want to smoke they have to stand right in front of the door.
Dec. 5th, 2007 02:37 am (UTC)
I, too, am allergic to cigarette smoke. It doesn't even have to be "second-hand smoke" while someone is smoking. I've been in elevators with people whose clothes smelled of smoke and that alone causes a physical reaction with me.

Also, I battle high eye pressures which lead to glaucoma. So, anything that affects my health adversely is something I am determined to avoid.

It's mind-boggling, really. We have ordinances for noise, but someone can blow a proven carcinogen into your face and it's perfectly legal.

Personal issues and health concerns aside, I think it's a travesty that it's taken this long, and so little has been done, to protect people from cigarette and cigar smoke.
Nov. 30th, 2007 06:01 pm (UTC)
Massachusetts has similar laws that other people have already stated. No smoking in restaurants, bars, or other public buildings, and you're supposed to be at least 20 feet from the entrance. It's great for me because I have asthma and can go see my hubby play out. (he plays bass guitar in a band) A while back I was unable to do that very often because of the smoking. And when I'd grit my teeth and go anyway, I always came down sick afterwards. These laws are slowly making their way across the country. Heck, California even passed it, and that's the most liberal state in the country. I'm sure Indiana will eventually pass it too.

If you had more time, I'd even suggest you start lobbying to get it passed. One person CAN make a difference. But since you are pretty tapped out with all your school work, maybe you can just write a letter during Christmas break or something, mass produce it, and send it all over the place. "Letters to the Editor" at local newspapers, state Health dept, Governor's office, your state representative, your state senator, etc. You could make an impact. You never know... :)
Dec. 1st, 2007 12:01 pm (UTC)
I understand where you are coming from, totally! This may seem a bit hypocritical of me--especially since at one point in my life even while I was in college singing all the time, I used to smoke, but I really feel that it should be outlawed in public places--restaurants, clubs, etc etc, not just because it is a health risk for the healthy people, but also because more and more people have lung problems--asthma and such, and alergies, and it can cause them to be severely dabilitated just by being around it, and while those that smoke may argue that it is there right to do so, and that they should be able to do so wherever they choose, I think that there is a point where that argument holds little weight, because if they were severely impacted by a bad smell or harmful chemical other than the one that they are willingly and knowingly ingesting into their own bodies and the bodies of others around them, they'd be the first to complain.
Now--when I used to sing and play in places where people smoked I would still continue to do so regardless of my own discomfort, and will again if I get such gigs in future, for the art and for the joy of performing and sharing my creativity, but I still totally advicate for outlawing it in public places so that not everyone has to be subjected to it. I value my lungs, and if I were still a smoker I wouldn't be able to enjoy my life as much as I do because it makes you so easily winded. That would make yoga and working out next to impossible--not to mention singing and singing well whether it's classical or what ever. Plus I personally think that the flemmy hacking cough is totally not attractive! hehheh Anyone reading this that smokes and can say that they don't like it either--well need I remind you that this your drug of choice, and the only way to stop that is to stop smoking cuz it'll only get worse. And--if you're gonna go, why would you want to go that way... Horrible and sad indeed!

Now--I have friends that smoke, and parents that do as well, and I won't not be around them because of it because while it is a nasty habit they are stilll my friends and family. Everyone that goes to my house knows that there is a no smoking inside regardless of the weather, and everyone observes it without complaint, in fact, all have remarked that they smoke less and spend more quality time while they're here. My parents don't smoke in their house either, and my friends that smoke have gotten some air purifyers so as long as I'm not there for days I'm not suffering too much.

But, you are much more sensetive to that sort of stuff than I am--so I can totally see how difficult a choice it must be for you, and how isolated it must make you feel. I agree with another poster in here--you should totally write a letter to the editor or something advocating for non smoking establishments. Given the numerous places throughout the US that have passed this law, Indiana may be coming, and it might just need an extra push to get there.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )


Sarah Blake LaRose
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