Jay Taylor, Durbin, N.D., letter: Secondhand smoke gets scarier with timeNo one says people can’t smoke. The measure just regulates smoke away from other people’s noses and lungs.
By: Jay Taylor ,
DURBIN, N.D. — When I moved to North Dakota about 30 years ago, I was a new non-smoker. I had stopped smoking for only about a week, and maintaining that status wasn’t easy.
I quit for a number of reasons: Tobacco had killed my dad at age 56, caused my grandfather to lose a leg and would go on to kill a number of good friends and relatives.
But the main reason I quit was because I was acquiring an instant family: a wife with asthma and two little daughters.
I came to this state as a respiratory therapist. I knew smoking was bad for you, and I knew firsthand how hard it was to quit.
But I knew nothing of the real dangers of secondhand smoke.
Now I know. Even if you don’t smoke, you do smoke if you’re around smokers. You’re breathing in the same harmful chemicals as are the smokers around you.
Secondhand smoke has been linked to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, low birthweight, ear infections, asthma and so on.
It can cause lung cancer and heart disease in non-smoking adults. It can cause former smokers to relapse. It’s linked to stroke, chronic lung problems and a variety of cancers.
That’s why I’m urging North Dakotans to vote “yes” on Measure 4. This will protect children and others from the public exposure to secondhand smoke.
No one says people can’t smoke. The measure just regulates smoke away from other people’s noses and lungs.