Letter: Stevenson wrong on smoking ban

April 17, 2013

I read Larry Stevenson’s letter and decided I needed to be heard on this issue. I am 86 years old and have lived in Sedalia most of my life. I suffer from COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease).

I have never smoked but breathed second-hand smoke most of those 86 years. My parents smoked. My husband died 20 years ago from his smoking. I worked decades in a doctor’s office here in Sedalia. And yes, smoking was allowed in the office. Even as people came coughing and sick, they brought along the thing that was killing them and giving me COPD.

Twenty years ago, I played bingo in the private clubs in Sedalia. My parents and my husband were Moose members. I have been unable to play bingo, due to the fog of smoke that goes with the game. I can get out and enjoy life but not where there is second-hand or even third-hand smoke. (That is the stale stink left behind when others have smoked in an area.) It is just time Sedalia did the right thing for the health of everyone.

I laughed when I read Mr. Stevenson’s milk joke. When I use whole milk, my neighbors do not get sick. If my friends or even Mr. Stevenson’s friends were getting sick from my whole milk, I would quit using it immediately. That is the responsible thing to do for the health of everyone. Mr. Stevenson, to be a really great council member, you must do the right thing for Sedalia, not just your friends.

I would like to think that if my late husband knew he was making others sick with his addictive habit that he would have been more considerate or even quit before it killed him. On his deathbed he told his children and grandchild that “Smoking was like jumping off a bridge an inch at a time. You will hit bottom and it will kill you.”

Martha Jennings