Smoking Is A Choice, Breathing Secondhand Smoke Is Not

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Editor:

I recently read that the citizens of Payson will soon consider a smoking ban. I hope you will consider a total ban in all "enclosed indoor workplaces" to protect not only your health; but the health of the typically young service workers who work in the bars and restaurants who are your sons, daughters and grandchildren. I am a former flight attendant who worked during the "smoking years." For the past 22 years I have been an advocate of smoke-free workplaces for all workers. Nonsmokers are now the overwhelming majority and it is time we freely breathe smoke-free air and make no apologies for our desire to do so. Breathing is a necessity and a right...smoking is not. Smoking is a choice. If you wish to smoke do so in a place where it only affects you, your home or your car. Toxic secondhand tobacco smoke is worse than smoking as the smoke comes off the end of the cigarette and is not filtered, this is what the nonsmoker breathes. Toxic secondhand smoke exposure was a serious health problem for the flight attendants, causing sinus infections, ear infections, bronchitis, emphysema, and throat and lung cancer in nonsmoking crew members.

We sued big tobacco for all the deception of secondhand smoke over the decades and they settled with us for what we wanted, a research fund to do scientific research on secondhand smoke on a worldwide basis, www.famri.org. We have the research and smoking is being banned in "enclosed workplaces" all over the world. Much research has also been done on the impact of smoking bans. Smoking bans bring out the nonsmokers (about 78 to 86 percent of the public) who spend their money in the bars and restaurants.

In addition, smoking bans also raise the rate of people who quit smoking. The smoking ban has been a huge success in Tempe and most recently in New York City. Big tobacco does not like smoking bans and they will be out in your community talking about "rights" and "how smoking is a privilege." We all know better, to smoke is to become a lifelong addicted customer to big tobacco. I was in one of the restaurants in Payson about 12 years ago when someone lit up. My family walked out of the restaurant and we have been driving right through Payson ever since ... until you institute a smoking ban.

Suzette Janoff, Scottsdale

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