Nonsmoker says smoking stinks

Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2008

I see Robert Dorian, in his letter on Jan. 18, finds it "quite mundane" that people who may or may not have lived in California have the nerve to shoulder against his "ideals" by not liking smokers blowing their stink at us.

I guess 30 years of residency in Alaska haven't been enough to get my head straight about a smoker's "right" to blow stinky, body-fluid infested smoke into our shared atmosphere.

People can smoke all they want, but shouldn't go around thinking the rest of us are to blame for their struggles, or that a length of residency comes with some imagined hierarchy. It does not.

People who smoke seem to believe that it is the rest of us who infringe on their rights. I cannot tell you how many times I have stood outside bus stop enclosures (in the rain) while some smoker sat inside puffing. I have changed seats in public places to get out of the draft of a cigarette. I have been stuck in elevators with someone stinking of their smoke. Yet here we have someone acting insulted that finally the law requires some social responsibility from smokers. That's special.

In Anchorage, where the weather is far more severe, we passed a law against public smoking 20 years ago. Guess what? When required to move off the bar stool or out of the employee lounge or out of the cinema lobby in order to smoke, many people stopped the habit. The rest of us noticed how pleasant it was to not have to smell and breathe that stink.

Every state in the union has a smoking help line. For may people, this service provides support they may not receive in their social setting.

Patti Moss


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