Friday, June 16, 2006

Just Appalling

I was driving home from the gym yesterday and the car beside me in it had a man smoking a cigarette with the windows rolled up and two small children in the backseat both in car seats. One of the children had covered her nose and mouth with a pillow.

I about went ballistic. I literally looked for a piece of paper and a pen in my car so I could write a sign and display it in my window, "Hey, you're killing your kids!"

I'm not really into politics. I'm a middle-of-the-road kind of girl so I don't regularly choose sides, but this time I'm am. About two years ago the city of Columbus voted to make smoking illegal inside public establishments. Initially this was voted on and approved by city council, which did not go over well with the general public. It was then put on the ballot and voters chose to adopt the smoking ban. The restaurant and bar owners fought back and put another measure on the ballot to repeal the ban based on a percentage of alcohol sales. The voters turned that down and the ban stayed intact. Since that time many suburbs have also adopted a ban of their own. Personally, I love this ban. It is so great walking into a restaurant and not having to worry about coming out smelling like smoke even when sitting in the non-smoking section.

So this fall, another measure is going on the ballot to ban smoking in the state of Ohio. I believe this ban will work just like Columbus's ban where the is NO smoking inside an establishment. Tabacco companies are striking back with their own ban called Smoke-Less Ohio which does not ban smoking but limits it in establishments.

Here's my thing...How dare you say that it's your choice to smoke; that it's your choice to kill yourself. It's my choice to breathe clean air and your smoke is killing me too. How dare you bring a child into this world and then give them a slow, painful death by smoking around them. Smoke-Free Ohio is something I'm very passionate about and will be getting involved. Smoker's beware: I'm pulling out my soap box and I'm not putting it away.

Sound off InterWeb. What's your stance on smoking bans?


jessie_tri_mn said...

I'm with you on this one (and I'm also a political fence sitter). And I'm a former smoker.

Where I live (Twin Cities, MN), we now have full smoking bans as well. It's been wonderful to be able to attend concerts in local venues again (I stopped going because I could not handle the smoke).

Some who say that smoking bans are going to negatively impact the economy are not thinking about those who didn't frequent these establishments before hand.

The guy smoking in the car with his kids? That just makes me sick. I see it as child abuse.

jeff said...

well, it's been years since they implemented the smoking ban here in california, it's even to the point where smoking is prohibited on some beaches. 30 feet from building entrances, the works. it's wonderful to not have to breathe it any longer.

but then you head to some place, like georgia, and walk into a restaraunt and smell the smoke. or you head to europe and you see EVERYONE smoking EVERYWHERE. it really is a great thing to be free of it.

the more it is prohibited, too, the more taboo it becomes and less cool and normal.

i'm behind you on this on, meredith.

Michelle said...

Amen, sister, although I would take a step back and say if you don't have kids, and want to smoke in your own house or your own yard when I'm not around, then, well, whatever. EXCEPT that all the smoking related health problems not only increase the amount of government spending on medical care, but most likely private insurance as well. (I bet business is just booming lately for the companies that manufacture and market smoking cessation products!) As for the kids--SMOKING IN THE CAR WITH 2 BABIES AND THE WINDOWS ROLLED UP??? That is child abuse!

Shelley said...

They should be reported for child abuse...thank GOD Ontario has just adopted the NO smoking in ANY public it!! Smoking should be banned for everyone..I don't care about "their" rights anymore..i'm sick and tired of so many people around here getting's scary!!

Cheryl said...

I love the smoking ban here in Columbus, and from what I see it hasn't impacted the places that I go to at all. It's wonderful being able to go into restraunts and pubs and not come out smelling like an ashtray. As a new grandmother, it's also nice not to have to worry about whether or not there will be too much smoke to take the baby into a restraunt.

A step further, I resent that my health care costs are affected by those of smokers. I'm sorry that you ended up with all of those health problems, but I fail to see how I should be paying for your ignorance.

Phyllis said...

Phyllis T
I found your comments about the smoking ban in Columbus interesting. We have had it here in Lawrence for several years however they can smoke outdoors on sidewalks or patios. It is a shock to go other places and find smoking. In fact our hospital has initiated no smoking on hospital property and they can't smoke outside doors now.

The bars fought it at first, to no avail.

desiree said...

I live in a world of Casinos so I am used to the reek of smoke. Nevada has no ban on tocacco and I feal they would fight it tooth and nail, however, I grew up in California and I love the smoking ban there.

I view smoking kinda like I view drunk driving: It is fine with me if you want to get behind a wheel trashed if it only affected YOU, if you were somehow drving down a road in desolation wilderness where the only life in jeopardy was your own, however, since you are in fact a selfish SOB you are endangering other people and no one has that right. Same with smoking, feel free to get cancer, just don't do it anywhere where you could give it to someone else.