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Smoking: 'You Stay Out of My Life, and I’ll Stay Out of Yours'

A minority view, if you don’t mind… straight from the mind of a smoker.

I understand fully what the is all about, and I further understand their .

, and they’re to be commended for their desire to stamp out smoking- it’s a nasty habit, and people shouldn’t do it.

That said, I cannot go along with the .

Full disclosure here- I am a smoker, albeit one who has learned to keep his habit as far away from others as possible.

I get it that there are people who hate it, and I do everything I can to avoid smoking where they can be bothered by it.

I try not to smoke around children- including my 6-year-old grandson.

I don’t even smoke inside my own home.

But I will not agree with the push to pass ever more laws to keep me from lighting up where I can.

At the end of the day, it’s my choice to light up where it’s legal for me to do so.

And please don’t holler at me about children seeing me smoke, and those children thinking it’s fine to do that, too.

If you don’t want your kids to light up, it’s YOUR job to teach them the evils of it- not mine.

Generally speaking, I tend to support the ideals of the Democratic party more than I do the Republicans, but not when it comes to the ever-increasing nanny state the far left of the party seems to think we need.

It’s NOT the government’s business what I do with my life, so long as I’m not robbing banks or planting bombs or the like.

I still believe in the idea of - so I’ll not be “blowing smoke” in someone’s face if they get in mine.

I WILL be somewhat vocal about defending my right to exercise the .

I’m pretty sure the San Diego County Sheriff’s Office has better things to do than bust me for smoking in a corner of some park somewhere- LOTS better things.

Let’s all try to get along a little better than we have been.

You stay out of my life, and I’ll stay out of yours.

If you want to mount the next crusade, perhaps against people having a beer in the parks while having their picnics, you can have at it.

I’ll let the beer drinkers stand up for their own rights to use the PUBLIC facilities their taxes help pay for.

It’s not a problem for me.

I don’t drink.

James Jones February 01, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Well said, Kevin. This discussion is less about smoking than it is about minor annoyances in a free society and the government regulation of those annoyances. I mean is outdoor second hand smoke really a health issue? I mean really? What I've heard in these forums (fora) are questionable "facts" about outdoor second hand smoke being so dangerous and a threat to children. When I've asked for substantiation of the claims made, all I hear are crickets in the night. How many of us actually encounter an outdoor second hand smoke situation in our daily lives? How often? For how long? Be honest. When the argument gets wrapped in "protecting the children", there is no discussing left to be done.
Diego February 01, 2012 at 11:44 PM
Really? Anyone who believes secondhand smoke isn’t dangerous is living under a rock, or more likely a smoker in denial that their addiction is unhealthy and lethal to themselves, and the rest of us who have to inhale their gross habit. The dangers of smoking and secondhand smoke are documented and easy to find, but too many to list here. Regardless of the amount of facts and studies showing the dangers of smoking and inhaling secondhand smoke, if you don’t believe is harmful now, you’re not going to change your mind.
Margie Logue February 01, 2012 at 11:50 PM
Mr Jones. I gather you have never had asthma... or COPD. You don't know what it's like not to be able to get enough oxygen in your lungs. How you have to stop yourself from panicing because that only makes it worse. It really isn't a minor annoyance to the person having the attack All it takes is a wind change to blow your smoke into someone's face and start an attack. Then you might be bothered......you know all that gasping for breathe can be annoying
James Jones February 02, 2012 at 12:03 AM
No one denies that second hand smoke exposure in a confined space, over time can be harmful. Show me the study that says short exposures to second hand smoke, diluted in the great outdoors from several feet away is so dangerous that we need a law. You can't do it. The studies cited by anti smoking advocates are for longer term exposure in an enclosed space. I've been pointed to a list of studies. I read them. Only one addressed outdoor second hand smoke. It states what common sense would tell you, exposure drops significantly as you move further than 18 inches away. This campaign to stop smoking outdoors has nothing to do with science. Again, show me the study. And try not to use the self righteous, "every body knows this" argument.
Kevin Boldin February 02, 2012 at 12:04 AM
Diego = Exhibit ‘A’ of my assertion. Knowing that something is bad for you and choosing to partake (legally) is freedom of choice, doing so as not to offend others is a courtesy, having that freedom taken from you by self righteous zealots is tyranny.
Joe Spencer February 02, 2012 at 12:11 AM
You ask....You receive..... http://news.stanford.edu/news/2007/may9/smoking-050907.html Stanford University did research the effects of second hand smoke in the outdoor enviornment back in 2007.
Joe Spencer February 02, 2012 at 12:14 AM
I would agree with 2/3 of your statement.... Knowing that something is bad for you and choosing to partake (legally) is freedom of choice. Doing do so as not to offemd others is a courtesy. But doing so while adversely affecting others with health risks or just simple annoyance is wrong and should be prohibited.
James Jones February 02, 2012 at 12:16 AM
@Margie Logue: I'm sorry you suffer from asthma. But you didn't answer my question. In what restaurant do you sit down, that a smoker sits next to you, lights up and the waiter does nothing? That was your statement. Smoking has been illegal in restaurants since 1999. Or was that just more of the baseless hyperbole that is being utilized in these discussions?
Kevin Boldin February 02, 2012 at 12:50 AM
@ Joe: We don’t live in a society that harbors freedom from annoyance or freedom from health risk. I’m annoyed when people around me break wind, it surely is annoying, it effects me adversely, it is methane gas and is harmful to one’s health. That being said, it fits your criteria: “But doing so while adversely affecting others with health risks or just simple annoyance is wrong and should be prohibited.” So, do you propose that we legislate conduct related to human gas expulsion? Who determines “simple annoyance”, should we form a panel, should it be state or federal, should special interest groups be involved, who determines the penalty, jail or monetary fine? That line of thinking leads down the path of anarchy.....
Doug Curlee February 02, 2012 at 12:55 AM
c'mon, kids.. let's keep it simple and civil.. part of the controversy over the issue is that people on both sides of the question become fanatical and evangelistic about it.. no question in my mind that second hand smoke under any kind of ongoing, enclosed environment will eventually be toxic..also no question in my mind that both sides, but especially the anti-smoking side, tends to adopt the scorched-earth policy..all smoking is bad, and therefore it has to be banned everywhere, and right now!! all i ever said in the beginng here was, "..you stay out of my life, and i'll stay out of yours.." and margie..my ex-wife suffered from asthma so badly that i had to give her antigen injections at ldeast twice a week, so i understand your problem..but if i stay enough distance away from you, that just isn't gonna be a problem for either one of us.. to steal a line.. "..can't we all just get along?.." doug
James Jones February 02, 2012 at 01:02 AM
Joe Spencer wrote: You ask....You receive..... Exactly the study I cited... "A typical cigarette lasts about 10 minutes," Klepeis said. "We found that if you're within two feet downwind of a smoker, you may be exposed to pollutant concentrations that exceed 500 micrograms of PM2.5 over that 10-minute period. If you're exposed multiple times to multiple cigarettes over several hours in an outdoor pub, it would be possible to get a daily average of 35 micrograms or more, which exceeds the current EPA outdoor standard." and However, the researchers found that air quality improved as they moved away from the smoker. "These results show what common sense would suggest—when you're within a few feet downwind of a smoker, you get exposed," Ott explained. "But likewise, when you go a little distance or stay upwind, the exposure goes way down. If there's just one smoker, and you can sit six feet away, you would have little problem. At the same time, if there are a lot of smokers nearby, you may be exposed to very high levels of secondhand smoke. So this thing that critics have been dismissing as trivial is not."
Kevin Boldin February 02, 2012 at 01:07 AM
@ Joe, et al: Did you read the article? And I quote: http://news.stanford.edu/news/2007/may9/smoking-050907.html “However, the researchers found that air quality improved as they moved away from the smoker. "These results show what common sense would suggest—when you're within a few feet downwind of a smoker, you get exposed," Ott explained. "But likewise, when you go a little distance or stay upwind, the exposure goes way down. If there's just one smoker, and you can sit six feet away, you would have little problem. At the same time, if there are a lot of smokers nearby, you may be exposed to very high levels of secondhand smoke. So this thing that critics have been dismissing as trivial is not." Simple logic would conclude, if you don’t want second hand smoke in an open outdoor area, stay six feet way or smoke six feet away from others to be courteous and civil.
Steven Bartholow (Editor) February 02, 2012 at 01:09 AM
Just to fan the flames a bit, Joe's analogy between noise pollution and smoke pollution in his recent blog post caught my eye: http://santee.patch.com/blog_posts/feel-free-to-smoke-in-santee-parks-but-get-your-fortune-told-elsewhere
Joe Spencer February 02, 2012 at 02:42 AM
@James and @Kevin.... what I think you are missing is that it should not be up to parents or children at the park to move six feet away if someone is smoking. As Steven pointed out about my blog .... by your theory if my music is too loud for somebody at the park should I then tell then to move far enough away that they cant hear it? You dont like that I bring the argument about children into things...but the fact is we are talking about parks....where children are playing....so yes I am going to bring the children into it. Please go read the blog Steven mentioned above. http://santee.patch.com/blog_posts/feel-free-to-smoke-in-santee-parks-but-get-your-fortune-told-elsewhere @Doug I love a good debate...and respect everyone that is posting. We all have our positions and because this does involve smoking around children at a city park I cannot agree with your request to stay out of "your" life. If EVERY city in this county can adopt no smoking rules at their parks why cant we?
joan sullivan February 02, 2012 at 04:06 AM
"The City Council prevents any disturbing, excessive or offensive NOISE which causes discomfort or annoyance to a REASONABLE person of NORMAL sensitivity." But what we have here is a princess who can feel a pea through twelve mattresses! Furthermore, the law does not demand that you play only string quartet music on your portable radio to spare the delicate sensibilities of those who detest twangy country western. It only requires that you not play twangy country western LOUDLY. I found the law about prohibiting hand gestures a hoot. The third finger salute is illegal??
joan sullivan February 02, 2012 at 04:13 AM
Aren't the parks for grown-ups, too?
Joe Spencer February 02, 2012 at 04:33 AM
Yes Joan...but wouldnt you agree the parks here in Santee are primarily used by children or adults with children? As I said....I can argue the health issue...I can argue the "enjoyment of the property" aspect.....either way it comes out the same....
Jeni Reynolds February 02, 2012 at 05:49 AM
Funny how most people are all talking about “rights” ... as if smokers are smoking out of choice and not addiction. My mom was a “considerate” smoker her whole life ... that was until she died of lung cancer at 63. Good luck to smokers who think they will beat the system and live a long and prosperate life. In the mean time for us non-smokers ... can you please keep the second hand smoke to yourself.
Christal Ferris February 02, 2012 at 04:04 PM
My question is, how long are you standing near a smoker? In the Stanford article, it said it had to be over a significant period of time and a matter of proximity. Walking by briefly is not the same thing. I'm not arguing that second-hand smoke is ok at all. I don't think I have rights as a smoker. I'm also not the kind of smoker that just goes around smoking anywhere. I do think smokers shoud only be allowed to smoke in designated areas. Even a designated area at a park. It's a subject that will be argued forever. Personally, I'm trying to quit smoking in an effort to be around for my kids.
Joe Spencer February 02, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Christal.....great summary! Good Luck in the effort to quit! Maybe if California caught up to the rest of the nation as far as taxes on cigarettes it might help influence people to stop. http://www.tobaccofreekids.org/research/factsheets/pdf/0097.pdf
James Jones February 02, 2012 at 05:18 PM
Joe Spencer said: "I love a good debate...and respect everyone that is posting." I couldn't agree more, Joe.
James Jones February 02, 2012 at 05:22 PM
Good luck on quitting Christal! I've heard that if you can get through the first 72 hours that you'll be over most of the physical addiction, then it's a matter of changing your habits. Soon, you'll no longer be a "nicotine slave!"
Jeni Reynolds February 02, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Kids are great motivations to stop. I wish you the best luck! My mom tried many times but I guess it was just too hard for her. I'm sure like you, she started before all the research came out showing what bad things can happen.
Jessica Z February 03, 2012 at 10:33 PM
Moving my kids 6 feet away when the smokers are sitting right next to the playground, means we are no longer at the playground. It doesn't help that they are sitting all round the playground, last time we where at Mast park there was 4 smokers in 3 different spots right around the playground (they didn't have kids). Why? I thought are they smoking right here?... We left like we always have to. So instead of walking to our local park we drive to a different city park.
Kevin Boldin February 03, 2012 at 11:31 PM
@ Joe: You are fully aware that “taxes on cigarettes it might help influence people to stop.” is government sanctioned coercion correct? You enjoy having the government twist your arm until you say uncle? What happens when the government starts getting involved in something else? Say taxing something like “sugar” to force people into changing their habits? Oh.. that’s right, they already are!!!! You all can justify this or anything else as long as it suits your agenda, because it makes you feel better, because after all, you are just looking out for the greater good, right? The chains of tyranny are tightening around our necks and most of you don’t even see it coming. Lemmings…..
Joe Spencer February 04, 2012 at 12:11 AM
Sorry Kevin..I just dont have an issue with it. As for the tax on sugar...I say great for that too. Obesity is a ridiculous problem in our county....(followed by our educational system). Let em tax sugar....its not like they are banning sugar. If I want a coke bad enough I will pay the extra money....if not...then I will lose some of my weight--which I should! If their intervention with taxes gets us to be healthier...so be it. I'm 110% behind that. As a whole our society has become quite lazy and we dont do it for ourselves.
Doug Curlee February 04, 2012 at 12:37 AM
so, joe..your cure for us being "quite lazy" is to have the governmental agencies mandate every part of our lives?..by forcing us into line by attacking our walletys and bank accounts? where does it stop?..is there a line you would draw somewhere?. I'm not afraid to drink tap water, despite the belief there may be some not-so-good- stuff floating around in it..should i be mandated to buy only pure bottled water? the list would go on and on and on... "..if intervention with taxes gets us to be healthier, so be it.."?? you might want to live under that kind of a system.. i damned sure don't.. doug
Kevin Boldin February 04, 2012 at 01:10 AM
When the common man will not fight for his freedom, its apathy. When the common man does not understand what freedom is, he is defeated. Many of you here feel like Joe, thus you are already defeated. You’ve already surrendered to the bureaucracy that will enslave you from cradle to grave and you be happy to pay for it all. Maybe one day you will have an epiphany, you will open a history book or wake from a dead sleep, the light bulb will finally flicker, you’ll finally realize what so many others have been trying to say. Why so many good men and women sacrificed, shed blood, screamed until only the darkness could hear them. You might even remember this post…..
James Jones February 04, 2012 at 07:12 PM
The noise pollution analogy doesn't hold up. It would only be valid if the noise diminished to silence when you were say, 8 feet away. Annoying noise travels much farther than cigarette smoke.
Earlene November 09, 2012 at 05:01 PM
Great discussion and I fully understand the stubborness of a smoker like Curlee as I was married to one who smoked for years, until I, too, developed a severe allergy to cigarette smoke and could not breathe. Do any of you know what it's like having that next breath cut off and you panic? Even tho my hubby went outside to do his puff'n, when he came back inside I could still smell it on his clothing, hair, etc. I was on a breathing machine for over a year until my significant other STOPPED smoking; after smoking over 40 yrs. he went cold turkey and never looked back. Julie is the ONLY person who expressed something all of you left out in this discussion, including Curlee, and that's LUNG CANCER. A great majority of smokers will ultimately die of lung disease due to their nasty habit. They can no longer work and require medical care which, if insured, far exceeds what any health insurance will pay; they then resort to Medi-Cal. Studies have shown each indigent patient's bill runs in excess of one million dollars per smoker. That's a lot of money, folks. Who ultimately pays for such patients' care?....YOU and I. This is partly why people try and encourage a smoker to STOP NOW before you also become a cancer patient and eventually lose your life due to your poor choices.

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