Letter – Smokers should show respect

Published 4:02 pm Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Editor, The Smithfield Times:

Smoking in public has long been a divisive issue, sparking debates over personal freedoms versus public health and courtesy. With the increasing awareness of the negative impacts of smoking on health and the environment, being conscious about smoking in public spaces has become more crucial than ever.

One of the primary reasons for being conscious about smoking in public is the health risks posed by secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke contains over 7,000 chemicals, including hundreds that are toxic and about 70 that can cause cancer. Non-smokers exposed to secondhand smoke can suffer from various health issues, including respiratory problems, heart disease and lung cancer. By being mindful of others, smokers can help reduce the risk of these health problems and create a healthier environment for everyone.

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Non-smokers have the right to breathe clean air, and this right should be respected in public spaces. Smoking in crowded areas, such as bus stops, outdoor cafes or parks, can expose non-smokers, including children and the elderly, to harmful secondhand smoke. By refraining from smoking in such spaces or moving to designated smoking areas, smokers can show respect for others’ health and well-being.

The behavior of adults significantly influences the choices made by young people. By smoking responsibly and avoiding public smoking in inappropriate places, adults can set a positive example for children and teenagers. Encouraging responsible smoking habits can contribute to reducing the number of young people who start smoking and promote a healthier future generation.

Smoking not only affects human health but also contributes to environmental degradation. Cigarette butts, the most littered item worldwide, contain toxic chemicals that can contaminate soil and water, harming wildlife and ecosystems. Smokers can be conscious of their environmental impact by using designated receptacles for cigarette waste or carrying a portable ashtray. Additionally, considering alternatives like electronic cigarettes or other smokeless options can help reduce the environmental burden caused by smoking.

Being conscious about smoking in public involves recognizing the impact of one’s actions on others and the environment. By adopting responsible smoking practices, smokers can protect the health of non-smokers, especially vulnerable groups, and set a positive example for younger generations. Moreover, it demonstrates a considerate attitude toward the environment and fosters community harmony.

Just an FYI at the end: I was a smoker for 42 years and practiced all of this.


Mitchell Simmons