Public smoking effects the world every day. Not a day goes by that Nevaeh and I do not pass someone smoking. I can hold my breath, but what do I do about her? I cannot cover her nose and mouth and expect her to understand what I am doing.
I’m left with a few options, I could walk in a completely different direction to avoid the smell (this is not a great option because sometimes there is not a different direction), I can run past them to minimize the amount of time spent in the smoke cloud, and/or confront them.
I find myself a lot of the times coughing very loud so they notice that I am bothered by this. Is this rude? Absolutely not! If I have to breathe your smoke, then you can listen to me cough!
What really infuriates me is most of this smoking is done in areas that you are not allowed to smoke in. It is against the law to smoke within 20 feet of a public building. Smoking in public areas subjects me and my child to your smoke.
If cancer, pulmonary disease, strokes, asthma, diabetes, birth issues, reproductive issues, and many other issues do not bother you, or you are the type who thinks, “my grandma smoked until she was 90 and was perfectly healthy”, then maybe thinking about other people might help you think twice before you smoke in front of my child again.
From http://www.lung.org/stop-smoking/smoking-facts/health-effects-of-secondhand-smoke.html , here is a list of the top facts of the damages of second hand smoke.
Key Facts about Secondhand Smoke
- Secondhand smoke causes approximately 7,330 deaths from lung cancer and 33,950 deaths from heart disease each year.
- Between 1964 and 2014, 2.5 million people died from exposure to secondhand smoke, according to a report from the U.S. Surgeon General. The report also concluded that secondhand smoke is a definitive cause of stroke.
- There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke and even short-term exposure potentially can increase the risk of heart attacks.
- Secondhand smoke contains hundreds of chemicals known to be toxic or carcinogenic, including formaldehyde, benzene, vinyl chloride, arsenic ammonia and hydrogen cyanide.
- Secondhand smoke can cause heart attacks; even relatively brief exposure can trigger a heart attack, according to a report by the Institute of Medicine.
I want to point out the third bullet point, there is NO RISK-FREE LEVEL of exposure. So you may not think that others passing by, breathing in your smoke, is a big deal, but it ABSOLUTELY IS. So please do me three favors.
- Smoke in the privacy of your own home. Not on your balcony, because guess what, your smoke drifts to public areas and people are still breathing in your second hand smoke. If you want to smoke, smoke inside your home, and let YOURSELF be the only person who suffers.
- If you have children, please do not let your child smell even the slightest scent of it. You can suffer but please save the health of your child.
- Stop littering the world with your cigarette butts. They are the most littered item in the world and are very toxic to the environment. Children easily pick cigarettes off the ground and put them in their mouths (see picture below).
You have a choice to smoke, and I respect the fact that you have the right to choose. But by choosing to smoke, you are robbing me of my choice to live a healthy and smoke-free life. By smoking, you have removed the choice of the people around you, especially children, by subjecting them to secondhand smoke. Please, do yourself, our children and your world a favor, and quit smoking.
Here is my daughter handing me a cigarette butt (which I thought was a stick at first). Our choice was taken from us when you smoked and threw your cigarette butt on the ground