Letter: Breathing clean air is also a right
I have read with interest the various letters submitted concerning the proposed ban on smoking in public establishments.
I am not a smoker. Moreover, I do not feel I should have to endure the secondhand smoke of those around me when in a public space. This applies whether that space is a private business open to the public or a space maintained by a governmental entity.
People who wish to smoke in the privacy of their own homes certainly should be able to do so. They can smoke where it does not infringe on my “space.” I can choose not to smoke which has no effect on them.
Some folks are calling smoking a “right.” I think that being able to breathe uncontaminated air is a more basic “right” — and one that does not infringe on the rights of others.
I think if someone wants to spend their money in order to risk the proven health consequences from smoking, that is their decision. As soon as the smoke that is exhaled or the smoke from the half burnt cigarette smoldering in an ashtray reaches me, then that person’s habit becomes my concern.
Smoking is expensive, unhealthy and clearly unnecessary. Smoking is a choice. That choice should not affect those who decide not to smoke. Smoke in your home, your backyard or your vehicle if you must. However, please leave the air I’m breathing alone.
Assistant Executive Director, Boys & Girls Club of West Central Missouri
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