Smoking — Beyond physical aliments

| 30 Sep 2011 | 09:48

    According to the Center for Disease Control, the definition of second-hand smoke “occurs when the exhaled and ambient smoke from one person’s cigarette is inhaled by other people.” Non-smokers are at risk for developing the same disease’s as smokers, such as cardiovascular disease and cancers when they are exposed. There have been many laws put into place throughout New Jersey regarding smoking in public places. We are not allowed to smoke in airplanes, office buildings and restaurants and now they want to eliminate smoking in casinos, cars, parks and beaches. I have been reading much controversy surrounding these issues in the newspaper the past few weeks. Some smokers feel that it is their right as a taxpayer to be able to smoke wherever they want. Perhaps, smoking goes beyond just physical ailments to the smoker and non-smoker. Smoking affected me as a small child in the sense that my father passed away as the direct result of smoking. Where were my rights as a non-smoker? I had the right to have my father walk me down the aisle. You see it doesn’t just affect the non-smokers health, it affects the whole family’s well being emotionally as well as physically. With June being the month for Father’s Day, I am reminded how my rights as a daughter were taken away from me due to smoking. Smoking and second-hand smoke affects more than just our physical well being, it affects our rights as family members when we lose a loved one to smoking. Tobacco use is addictive and there is help out there for individuals who want to quit smoking. In New Jersey, you can call 1-866-NJSTOPS. There is also a website for help in quitting. So, if you are ready to quit you are not just doing it for yourself; you are doing it for your family too! Cindy Meakem Tobacco Free for a Healthy New Jersey NJDHSS-Office of Tobacco Control Center for Prevention and Counseling Newton