June 07, 2007
Second Hand Smoke Hurts Kids
So yet another study is out detailing the dangers of second hand smoke; this time the research focuses on the damage it does to kids who are exposed to it.
Said one of the researchers: "Even a little exposure to smoke at home or in the public environment can be harmful to the cardiovascular system of healthy schoolchildren."
Second hand smoke is a known killer; every day non-smokers who have to breathe it die of lung cancer and heart disease.
The whole issue makes Crabby very angry. People who don't choose to smoke themselves should not have to endure the associated health risks. Especially not children.
The fact that smoking is harmful is not news--people younger than about 50 years old knew damn well when they started that they were risking their health. Crabby knows nicotine addiction is incredibly powerful; had she become a smoker herself she's not sure she would have been able to quit, though she certainly hopes so.
But if she hears one more smoker whining about how his "right" to smoke in public places is somehow more fundamental than the rights of others not to die of cancer, she's going to slap someone--and it's not going to be a non-smoker.
Crabby figured out by the time she was about ten years old that if smoking was bad for people, breathing second hand smoke was probably not too good for you either. She has been waiting since that time for the rest of society to catch up so that she and all the other nonsmokers out there don't have to choke on any more obnoxious and dangerous smoke. Times are finally changing, a bit. But people are still taking up the foolish habit and other people around them are still having to deal with the consequences.
Crabby lives in a metropolitan area that actually bans smoking in most indoor public places--but even this isn't quite enough to keep it at bay. At some of the trendy bars, for example, smoking seems to be making a comeback. (Crabby is not the least bit trendy, but she has friends who are, so she's found herself at these places on rare occasions).
She was appalled the first time she saw people at one of these places starting to light up. Surely they knew it wasn't allowed? However no one said a word. It was clear everyone was just supposed to just shut up and be "cool" about it. How could this be happening again?
"Would you mind putting that out?"
Crabby has braved the wrath of those around her to ask that question, but it makes her feel like a freak. She longs for the day when no one has to say it anymore because it will seem so obvious: smoking indoors, in public, is unacceptable. Unfortuately, we're not there yet.