The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Second hand smoke kills humans, nature

Smoking is bad for everyone’s health. That is pretty much a foregone conclusion in today’s society. But not everyone cares to pay attention to that fact.

Since I was born my dad smoked. He continued to smoke around me after I was born and through many ear infections I endured. My mom had to repeatedly take me to the doctor, who told her I was deaf in one ear.

My mom got a hunch that it was the second hand smoke and forced my dad to smoke outside. My ear infections disappeared and I was able to hear again. A couple of weeks later a Harvard Medical School announced that smoking caused ear infections in children.

There are many children in the United States that are not so lucky. Who defends the rights of children whose parents smoke at home or in front of them?

California is considered to be the leader in banning smoking and lawmakers have done a good job in making public areas smoke-free for everyone.

The state has banned smoking in restaurants, offices and other indoor workplaces since 1995. On January 1, 1998 California lawmakers enacted a ban on smoking in any indoor public place, including bars.

Since 1998 non-smoking and even smoking Californians have been able to enjoy shopping in a mall or store, eating at a restaurant or going in a bank without the nuisance of having another persons cigarette smoke contaminating their breathing air.

Like any law, though, not everyone follows it. Initially there were people who ignored the ban and went on smoking in stores and other public places.

Luckily I haven’t encountered such a situation since then.

Since the 1998 law came into action more strides have been made toward getting second hand smoke away from those who do not wish to inhale the toxins.

California bans smoking within 25 feet of any children’s playground and within 20 feet of any entrances, exits or windows leading to public-or state-operated buildings. This includes all UC, CSU and community college campus’ throughout California.

Public schools in California have been designated as “smoke-free” zones and the possession of tobacco products by any student or employee is prohibited.

In the past three years, 19 beaches across the California coastline have banned smoking.

Some cities, including Santa Monica, have either banned or restricted smoking on their piers.

This year Calabasas passed a ban on smoking in all public places, indoor and outdoor. This ban is considered to be the toughest in the nation.

Though the ban caused debate between smokers and non-smokers, a recent announcement by United States Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona justifies Calabasas’ move to rid their city of nicotine pollution.

On June 27 Dr. Carmona said “The scientific evidence is now indisputable: second hand smoke is not a mere annoyance. It is a serious health hazard that can lead to disease and premature death in children and non-smoking adults.”

Many have known or at least believed this for a long time, but having the Surgeon General make an announcement could leave no doubt in anyone’s mind that second hand smoke is deadly.

But there is more left to be done. Children are still not as protected as they should be.

Smoking is a legal drug that kills. But as much of a right that smokers have to smoke, non-smokers have the right to not breath in toxins that can kill them.

While adults can do something to protect that right, children have few options when it is their own parents that wish to destroy their children’s lungs with nicotine.

It is true, children’s playgrounds are smoke free, as are beaches. What about the homes or cars where these children live and travel?

Second hand smoke kills, that’s a proven fact by the U.S. government.

Every time a person dies from a disease associated with second hand smoke, someone should go to jail for that person’s murder.

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