Outdoor smoking ban hard to justify

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

There's no arguing with the facts that secondhand smoke is dangerous, to children especially.

Low birthweight, sudden infant death syndrome among children born to smoking mothers, increased number of infections, asthma, chronic respiratory symptoms such as cough and wheezing, dental cavities, middle ear infections -- all among a litany of ills accredited to someone else smoking in the presence of children.

Second-hand smoke carries more than 4,000 chemicals, 200 of which are known to be poisonous and more than 60 have been identified as carcinogens. Lung, nasal sinus, cervical and bladder cancer have all been linked to secondhand smoke.

Second-hand smoke is also bad for your heart and circulation system as well, of course.

Passive smoking has also been linked to the narrowing of the carotid arteries which carry blood the the brain, artherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries, and nearly a doubling of the chance of a heart attack.

All of which play in to a move to ban all types of tobacco from public facilities. Smoking is already banned in all buildings and vehicles owned or leased by Mid Plains Community College, but a ban on all types of tobacco, including chew, was voted down in July 2007.

The ban was on the agenda again for tonight's meeting of the college board of governors, but its fate was anything but certain.

The above facts are certainly justification for an all-out smoking ban indoors or inside vehicles, but when one considers chewing tobacco or outdoor smoking, the connection is less clear.

Can tobacco smoke really compete with car, diesel, jet or coal exhaust as the most dangerous environmental threat? That's a hard argument to make.

And second-hand chewing tobacco? We don't even want to think about that ...

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  • *

    How do you get second, third, or fourth hand smoke from chewing tobacco???

    -- Posted by generalsn on Wed, Feb 25, 2009, at 2:05 PM
  • I am waiting for the day when the Government decides to totally outlaw tobacco products, and has to find a new home for all them taxes that will need, to continue funding the entitlements, currently funded. Perhaps an 'Air' tax. Anything, or anyone, ingesting, cycling through breathing, or any activity utilizing 'Air' will be taxed. Parachutists and aircraft would probably be taxed the highest (pun).

    The headline should read: Legal product, Outlawed.

    Sort of 'rings,' huh? Arley

    -- Posted by Navyblue on Wed, Feb 25, 2009, at 6:56 PM
  • @generalsn

    You get it from the horrible smell of people's breath after chewing tobacco. Granted, that may not bother some people, but choirs, auctioneers, and photographers would cause- or receive- much suffering.

    -- Posted by bjo on Thu, Feb 26, 2009, at 11:13 AM
  • bjo

    If that's the case then they should ban all bad breath on campus too. Then we can see how people who don't use tobacco like the persecution. Frankly, I'm tired of the horrible breath of people who don't have the decency to brush and I don't feel that I should be subjected to their noxious odors.

    -- Posted by McCook1 on Mon, Mar 2, 2009, at 9:36 AM
  • Unless someone's blowing their smoke in your face, or spitting in your mouth, I don't think you should worry about it. What about all the other things that are let off/out in the air, aerosol cans, exhaust from cars, factories, restaurants, human gas, etc...why don't you outlaw those plus everything else that puts off chemicals into the air.

    If you want to solve a problem for someone with bad breath, carry gum or a breath mint, then offend them like they offend you and say "here, you are in dire need of this mint" Instead of whining and "banning" and "outlawing" personal choices, there's already too much of this as it is..what the hell is happening to this country...??

    -- Posted by thimself on Sat, Mar 7, 2009, at 11:32 AM
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