Thursday, January 10, 2008

Up In Smoke


I’m never really sure how to feel when state legislators start talking about smoking bans. On the one side there are certain things the government shouldn’t be allowed to regulate. On the other I’m not a smoker and really can’t stand the smoke from cigarettes myself.

When I was younger smoking was a fact of life. Not for me personally, but my mother smoked, a grandmother and grandfather smoked, even my father smoked a pipe at one time. Things changed. My mother had to give it up for health reasons. My dad gave up smoking a pipe when some of the tobacco he was smoking ended up in an eye in a freak accident.

Years ago I became a runner and although those days are behind me, I really appreciated breathing in fresh air. Now it’s hard for me to walk into a smoke-filled room and something I wouldn’t do by choice. I can feel the effects the next day. Sure it sounds like whining, but tell it to the 200,000 people that die every year from second hand smoke.

Still I live with smoking to a certain degree. A younger sister is a smoker. She used to be bad about just lighting up whenever and wherever she was, but over the years has become a little more considerate. Last year my other sister and a brother went to her house during Christmas time to clean it for her and put up her tree to cheer her up. Her mirrors and windows were covered with a film of nicotine.

When I lived in Beaver Dam I rented a small house. One day I accidentally knocked out a false-ceiling panel while I was cleaning and it broke. Fortunately there were spares in the basement and I replaced it. It was lily white compared to the other stained-yellow panels. You guessed it a previous tenant had quite the smoking habit. I left the panel up hoping it would give others something to think about.

Today on KFIZ we talked with Sandy Bernier of the Fond du Lac County Tobacco Control Coalition. She shared a number for Wisconsin’s Tobacco Quit Line. If you’ve considered quitting smoking you can get help at 1-800-QUIT-NOW, that’s 1-800-784-8669. It operates from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Here's their website address too I’m never really sure how to feel when state legislators start talking about smoking bans. On the one side there are certain things the government shouldn’t be allowed to regulate. On the other I’m not a smoker and really can’t stand the smoke from cigarettes myself.

When I was younger smoking was a fact of life. Not for me personally, but my mother smoked, a grandmother and grandfather smoked, even my father smoked a pipe at one time. Things changed. My mother had to give it up for health reasons. My dad gave up smoking a pipe when some of the tobacco he was smoking ended up in an eye in a freak accident.

Years ago I became a runner and although those days are behind me, I really appreciated breathing in fresh air. Now it’s hard for me to walk into a smoke-filled room and something I wouldn’t do by choice. I can feel the effects the next day. Sure it sounds like whining, but tell it to the 200,000 people that die every year from second hand smoke.

Still I live with smoking to a certain degree. A younger sister is a smoker. She used to be bad about just lighting up whenever and wherever she was, but over the years has become a little more considerate. Last year my other sister and a brother went to her house during Christmas time to clean it for her and put up her tree to cheer her up. Her mirrors and windows were covered with a film of nicotine.

When I lived in Beaver Dam I rented a small house. One day I accidentally knocked out a false-ceiling panel while I was cleaning and it broke. Fortunately there were spares in the basement and I replaced it. It was lily white compared to the other stained-yellow panels. You guessed it a previous tenant had quite the smoking habit. I left the panel up hoping it would give others something to think about.

Today on KFIZ we talked with Sandy Bernier of the Fond du Lac County Tobacco Control Coalition. She shared a number for Wisconsin’s Tobacco Quit Line. If you’ve considered quitting smoking you can get help at 1-800-QUIT-NOW, that’s 1-800-784-8669. It operates from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily. Here's their website address too http://www.wiquitline.org/ I don’t have a problem with those who smoke. It’s their choice, but it isn’t mine.

1 comment:

Ryan Evans said...

I'm glad to see that you recognize this as an issue of choice. I am a nonsmoker myself and I certainly derive very little enjoyment out of going out to a bar where you have to squint through the haze to see across the room...

However, I have taken up this issue because it is a matter of choice and I can't stomach somebody else making choices for another. As individuals, what do we really have if we do not have the right to live our lives as we so choose and contend with the consequences of those actions?