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    Smoke...but do it out there!
    Olivia_WebMD_Staff posted:
    This is the time of year when many smokers decide to kick the habit.

    For those who continue to smoke the debate rages: Is it fair to ask smokers to go outside to smoke in restaurants and other enclosed places where secondhand smoke could be a problem or do they have the right to smoke anywhere they please?

    What is your stance?
    Rod_Moser_PA_PhD responded:
    Smokers do not have rights, other than the right to smoke in their own homes (although this has even been challenged), and the right to get tobacco-related diseases. Smokers do not have the right to smoke around others, especially their children.

    I once went to a meeting at the Cancer Center where I was required to use valet parking. The valet attendants were smoking! After my immediate complaint to the CEO, the practice stopped.

    Although our medical group claims to have a smoke-free workplace, I am often assaulted by a cloud of tobacco smoke when I enter the building, and disgusted by the pile of butts, both in the trash and in the landscape plants.

    Non-smokers do have rights in this matter.
    worn1 responded:
    Smokers do have rights.
    I am a non smoker. There should be areas set up for both smokers and non smokers in public places. At home the home owner has the last say.
    Bill4424 responded:
    They should ban it from the property. If these people knew they could not smoke for 8 hours at work they would quit. If they didn't they would be very stupid but then they did start in the first place. Do they even realize how bad they smell when you are near them? There is not a perfume on the market that can cover up the stench they give off. Then they go home and try to kill their kids with the smoke or in the car. Where we live restaurants are non smoking and you have to be 15 feet away from any door or window that doesn't stop them from standing right in front of the door and sucking down a whole cigarette and the walking in and exhaling the smoke inside. I can't believe they can't go without for a half an hour then they say they are not addicted my butt.
    rachael67 responded:
    Not one to disagree with someone as intelligent as the fine Doctor Moser (or, I must admit, as clever...I have read some of your columns and must congratulate you on many levels!), I am going to make an exception here! "Smokers do not have rights..." ????? Contrary to this being an all too common assumption with the general population, we all have rights!!

    Tobacco continues to be a legal substance!!! One might even compare it to alcohol...which we all know was successfully abolished during Prohibition, right???!!! Yes, both substances can injure those who use it as well as those who, were this a war, might be considered "collateral damage!" Yes, both those who smoke and those who drink have responsibilities when doing so. Drinkers and smokers should practice moderation. And each's freedoms/rights end where others might be damaged by what the consumer is doing. For instance, one should never get behind the wheel of a car while under the influence of alcohol. And a smoker should never willfully expose anyone else to their second-hand smoke.

    But every right/freedom has responsibilities which accompany it. We have the right to drive a vehicle, but there are laws which force us to conform to safe practices. And though there are areas we cannot drive in (Mackinaw Island in MI for instance), no one is stopped at the border of a state because that state has determined that the vehicle omissions are so offensive and cars themselves are so destructive that they will be prohibited within their borders.

    Bottom line for me: If someone wishes to smoke, that action alone should not brand them some sort of pariah! IT IS THEIR RIGHT! Given that, it is also THEIR RESPONSIBILITY to not do so in the presence of anyone who might be injured as a result!

    When the big movement came to banish all smokers from every area of civilized life, and declare them misfits in the human race, little thought was given to anything but knee-jerk responses to the cries of the staunch politically correct army! As you point out, even some places where smokers reside...their very homes...are no longer places in which they can exercise this freedom!

    As inflicting second-hand smoke on others is unfair, so, too, is making no provisions for those who do wish to smoke! It is possible to provide areas away from the non-smokers with good ventilation. There are many ways in which both camps can be accomodated! But banishment is not the only answer!!

    We can readily see how our uncooperative, stubborn, non-compromising, willful government leaders have gotten us into a position where no one gains and everyone looses. Hopefully, we can do better than that. We would certainly not want to revisit Prohibition, but those who treat smokers as was done with drinkers in the 20s aren't much better than any DC politician in my less than humble opinion!

    seekingimmortality responded:
    Yes, it is fair to ask smokers to go outside to smoke in all public places. Tobacco smoke stinks. Non-smokers like me have a right to clean carcinogen-free air.
    bobby75703 responded:
    Where I live, smoking is banned in all public buildings, bars and restaurants.

    I also work for a major hotel chain which is smoke free. However smoking is permitted on the outdoor pool deck. Sometimes when the air is calm, and multiple smokers lite up around the outdoor pool, the air becomes unbreathable. I hold my breath when walking by.

    Looking forward to the day major hotels and resorts ban smoking around outdoor pool decks.

    I think the question should be re-worded to say "should we ban smoking outside?" New York city has already done this by banning smoking in its public parks and boardwalks.

    Times have certainly changed since the 1960's.
    mariah416 replied to Bill4424's response:
    I am a smoker,I know it is bad for me and yes i have tried to quit and failed. If they banned it completly from the work property and smokers had to go 8hrs without one in many cases you would not want to be around those people because they would be extreamly irritated and cranky.
    I know it is bad for me, I know I should quit but it is my body and my decision to do it. I do not smoke around non smokers. I stay in the designated areas to smoke,If there is not a ashtray i take my butts with me and throw them away later. I do not think i should be punished for stupid people that dont respect others.
    If they are supposed to be 15 ft from the door and are not abiding by that report it, find out who inforces the ban and ask them what can be done. Every smoker should not be penalized for the actions of the stupid ones that dont follow the rules.
    worn1 replied to bobby75703's response:
    How easy it is to judge others. There are a couple of things i was taught growing up. 1)Do onto others as you would have them do onto you and 2) those who live in glass houses should not throw rocks 3) Judge not les ye be judged..For those who do not think it is an addiction please do your research. It is addictive. Also keep in mind most smokers start in school.
    My sister has tried to stop numerouos times only to fail.. She started at the age of 13--over 40 years ago so it is not an easy habit to break. She has grandchildren whoom she does not smoke around as she realizes the dangers. she does not smoke in her own home but outside. She hates the fact that she smokes and will continue to try and break the habit.
    jis4judy responded:
    well as a former asthmatic I had many encounters with smokers
    started with family I have old photos to prove the smoke was there ..LOl One time when I was working in a bank we were required to stand ouside in a certain area to get a signal from the bank it was safe to enter . well one of my coworkes started to smoke I left the area so I could breathe she followed me I had to tell her I was avoiding her smoke while trying hard to breathe
    I think tobacco products should be banned altogether because
    those of us that have trouble breathing to start with have no breath to explain to smokers by the time you explain you are allready damaged out sick for a week or more
    Hugs Judy:)
    Linda100054787 responded:
    elle0317 replied to rachael67's response:
    So are all the smokers going to foot the bills for the renovations every single establishment would have to do in order to accomodate them?

    I say keep the poison outside, or in their own homes/cars, but not if there are children present.

    All establishments in my area are smoke free, and you have to be at least 15 feet away from the entrances as well. A town near me has even banned smoking in vehicles while children under 18 are present. Also, stores in my area are not allowed to show the product on the shelves, they have to hide them from plain view and are not allowed to advertise them with signs etc...

    The only reason it's still legal is becuase of $$. If the government didn't make so much money on the taxes, it would have been illegal long ago.
    wmatto83 replied to rachael67's response:
    Thank you Rachael 67! This was a very professional an intelligent response. And it isn't because I am a smoker. Yes I am a smoker and I absolutely agree with the banning it in certain areas as smoking does make the air unbreathable for people who have breathing issues. I however do not agree with banning smoking in the outside. Who owns the outside air??? No one! As far as my house my property that is my say. I do not smoke in my house because I don't like want it does to homes. I don't smoke around my son at all and always wash my hands before picking him up. I can see in a big city like NYC maybe not letting people smoke in times square or those designated areas. And if they ban it all together.....where does it end??? Where do you let the government stop?? You ban cigarettes....guarantee their focus will be alcohol next. So all you Wine lovers out there be aware! LOL! And once alcohol then whats next?? They might start in on certain cars can only be driven. Don't give the government this last right that we own. Non-smokers may think this doesn't affect them and will only benefit from it but just remember they take this right away your rights will be next!
    bp_roller responded:
    We have a good balance where I live. We have private clubs, or smokers clubs...where you can smoke to your hearts content in-doors. You have to pay a yearly fee to be a member. Oviously if you don`t smoke, why would you join a "smokers club", and you certainly wouldn`t pay a membership fee. In all other instances I don`t believe smokers should smoke around`s rude in my opinion.
    worn1 replied to elle0317's response:
    In Maryland a lot of the restraunts had set up areas just for smokers. The local government said no and were told to close the areas.
    In Virginia we have both areas in the majority of the restraunts wher I live.
    The only reason there are tobacco products is due to the addiction of nicotine. Do you think anyone wants to pay that much for a product that can kill them and others?

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