Letters to the Editor

Published 9:43 pm Monday, March 21, 2005

By Staff
Let's draw the line, breathe better
The recreational drug - tobacco, a few hundred years ago was considered a useful herb. It was useful in the cure of such ailments as headaches and abscesses. But because tobacco contains nicotine (found only in the tobacco plant), a powerfully addictive drug, we now consider it harmful to the body. When tobacco smoke is inhaled into the lungs, through the nose, nicotine is absorbed into the bloodstream and reaches the brain quickly. The initial effects of tobacco are usually not seriously harmful except to individuals with a compromised respiratory system. However, over time the health of any person exposed to first hand or second hand smoke can be catastrophic. Cigarette smoking is the single major preventable cause of disease and death in the United States and the world.
Hardly anyone would argue against the factual data of the hazardous health effects of smoking. Would anyone try to argue that tobacco has any useful purpose except economic boon for these purveyors of pain and the politician's pleasure of taxation? The enjoyment of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is every citizen's privilege. To be healthy is of course the objective of every well adjusted individual and it is a high priority on everybody's wish list. To be happy is nearly synonymous with being healthy. Some are more intentional in their lifestyle to this ideal of healthy living than others. Most people agree that the healthiest approach toward smoking is to refrain; to never do battle with the highly addictive drug nicotine is one's first choice. Some are less fortunate and are addicted and their health is in decline as a direct result of their decision. Others have made and continue to make it their free will choice to inhale tobacco smoke into their lungs fully aware of the repercussions to their compromised health.
Smoking is obviously a health hazard. Most people try to avoid hazards and have found there are enough hazards in life without inviting others into our life. It is well documented that tobacco smoke when inhaled is a health hazard. Why can't people enjoy a smoke free environment in public places? Being able to take a deep breath is my right. Heart disease, cancer, and respiratory disease a person might have the misfortune of inheriting but people do have the right to draw the line where you smoke. When the line is drawn we will all breathe better.
Michael King