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Reed's decision unpopular with some
February 28, 2012 - Jim Smith
Wood County Circuit Court Judge Jeff Reed's decision upholding the Mid-Ohio Valley Health Department's ban on all indoor smoking isn't going to make him very popular with the smoking-segment of the electorate, but it should get kudos from all non-smokers.
The old saying is there's nothing worse than a reformed smoker so I guess I fit into that category. After being a two-to- three-pack-a-day smoker in my 20s, I quit more than 30 years ago after a lot of help from family, friends and a Columbus police sergeant friend who was the department's hypnotist.
When I was a smoker I remember getting upset with people in places where my smoke was bothering them and believing I had a right to my pleasure even if others objected. After all, I reasoned, I wasn't hurting anyone, which I now know is not the case. My emitted smoke was causing others potential harm through what is now known as "second-hand smoke, which is said to be even more dangerous to one's health than actually smoking.
Since quitting, I have learned just how offensive the smell of cigarette and cigar smoke can be and avoided all places where I knew smoking was permitted. Many restaurants were on my do not eat there list, even those that had no smoking rooms because they usually were at the rear of the restaurant, forcing one to walk through the smoking section to get there.
While I understand the opponents' argument against the countywide no indoor smoking rule, I couldn't have been happier when it was enacted. It is so much more pleasant being able to go to some of the previously smoke-filled restaurants and community events now without the smoke.
The health risks to those working in the sites where smoking has been banned, as well as the patrons has been greatly reduced, which should be a plus for individual health care and health care costs borne by us all.
Yes, Reed's decision will not go down well with some and may even hurt his political career, but it also should get the support of all non-smokers, of which there are more than smokers.
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