Skating event touts smoking ban

Sunday, Oct. 27, 2013 11:31 PM
Last updated Monday, Oct. 28, 2013 1:12 AM
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With skates strapped to their feet, patrons of Skate­land of Augusta whizzed past speakers blaring live music Sun­day as they rounded the rink in the Old School Skate Jam.

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People skate at Skateland of Augusta in the Old School Skate Jam, an event to promote a ban on smoking in bars and restaurants. An Augusta Commission committee is set to discuss a ban today.  JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
JON-MICHAEL SULLIVAN/STAFF
People skate at Skateland of Augusta in the Old School Skate Jam, an event to promote a ban on smoking in bars and restaurants. An Augusta Commission committee is set to discuss a ban today.

The event, coordinated by musicians Tony Howard and Lewis McTush in connection with BreathEasy Augusta, drew more than 100 people to the small rink for an evening of music, skating and education.

With the Augusta Commis­sion set to deliberate on the city’s smoking ordinance today, attendees were given the opportunity to speak with members of Breath­Easy Augusta, who were handing out pamphlets warning of the dangers of secondhand smoke. The group, which has been active for more than two years, is fighting for a stricter smoking ordinance in local bars and restaurants.

Christine O’Meara, the director of cancer information and awareness at the Geor­gia Regents University Cancer Center, said the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.

“It’s very important to do education and outreach when policy decisions are on the horizon so that our elected people can see that there are people in the community who are concerned about his issue,” she said.

McTush, who said he suffers from a heart condition because of exposure to secondhand smoke, said he has seen how smoking can be detrimental to those working in bars and restaurants.

“It’s not only the entertainers,” he said. “It’s the bartenders and the waiters. These are the people working in these toxic environments, and they depend on these environments to make a living. There is no safe exposure to secondhand smoke.”

McTush said the decision to hold the event at a skating rink was just a way for the group to promote health in a fun way. DJs spun music earlier in the evening while How­ard, McTush and other live performers waited for their turn.

Teams wearing coordinating outfits skated around the rink backward while other patrons who hadn’t laced up their skates yet stopped by BreathEasy Augusta’s display in the food court.

Howard’s daughter, LaToya, said she became involved with the smoke-free movement after participating in earlier events with her father.

“Seeing my father come home from some of the clubs at night, I would notice that his voice would be really hoarse after a couple of weeks,” she said. “I’ve become passionate about it because it was really affecting him.”

McTush said he hoped BreathEasy Augusta would pick up more members by the night’s end.

“If we’re going to be part of this world that we live in, we want to leave the world a better place,” he said.

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oldredneckman96
5115
Points
oldredneckman96 10/28/13 - 05:54 am
1
2
Here is the point on smoking
Unpublished

Here is the point on smoking in public. Any property owned by we voters; sidewalks, parks, libraries, buildings owned by any public agency and so, is public property. Any one that takes out a business license for any kind of business is opening the business to the public and does not have the same rights as a private home owner in their home.
Now there are certain rules we all follow to be in public and be a citizen and not a criminal and smokers have ignored these and been ignored these rules too long. Example; everyone has certain body functions we must do but, we go to certain places to do these things. It is written into our Constitution that we have a right to bear arms; again, we have places where we can use them and certainly not in public. We have licensed drivers to drive cars from one end of this country to the other, there are rules that make this possible and let people live. Let people drive anywhere and anyhow and we would not have cars very much longer.
If a person with a disease such as TB had an infectious case, that person would not be allowed in public to protect the health of the public. Under what distorted reasoning should we allow a person to spray a known poison in public? If smoking had never been introduced to us by the Native Americans (revenge, I truly believe) and someone just now tried to introduce it, I would hope that person would be jailed.

Little Lamb
46860
Points
Little Lamb 10/28/13 - 10:08 am
1
3
Causation

Musician Lewis McTush said he suffers from a heart condition because of exposure to secondhand smoke.

Musician Little Lamb says there is no way that McTush can know whether or not his heart condition was caused by exposure to secondhand smoke. It is just impossible to assign causation. There are too many other factors that are possibilities. If the Good Lord had never created tobacco, there would still be people with heart conditions.

Little Lamb
46860
Points
Little Lamb 10/28/13 - 10:12 am
1
2
Causation

Musician Tony Howard’s daughter, LaToya, said she became involved with the smoke-free movement after participating in earlier events with her father. “Seeing my father come home from some of the clubs at night, I would notice that his voice would be really hoarse after a couple of weeks,” she said.

Musician Little Lamb says rock singers will get hoarse after a couple of weeks on the job whether there is secondhand smoke there or not. She cannot prove secondhand smoke caused her father's hoarseness.

corgimom
33959
Points
corgimom 10/28/13 - 02:51 pm
1
2
I believe a licensed, trained

I believe a licensed, trained physician over a musician, as to why someone is sick. As in the case of my husband's COPD, which was caused by his exposure to secondhand smoke- which was his ONLY risk factor. And it is inappropriate for anybody to overrule a physician's diagnosis, unless they have access to someone's medical records and are a licensed physician themselves. And oh yes, it most certainly IS possible to assign causation as to a medical problem, doctors do it every day.

avidreader
3377
Points
avidreader 10/28/13 - 05:24 pm
2
1
What a Crock!

If a bar owner wants to allow smoking, then the public can decide whether or not to patronize the joint. Musicians can also decide whether or not to perform there. IT'S A CHOICE to be made freely. The owner chooses a direction, and the public decides whether or not to attend. The Living Room Legends and the Hollerer's choose to perform in smoke-filled rooms, so I will attend, even if I cough a bit more the next morning. Lou Reed would surely agree.

lsmith
105
Points
lsmith 10/29/13 - 12:13 am
0
0
Little Lamb The Musician
Unpublished

It seems that Little Lamb The Musician's one of those chronic naysayers who will proclaim "no truth" even when confronted with the obvious. I operated a smoking nightclub for 5 years, which means that as 300+ of my patrons were smoking I was too (I'm non smoker). I was in perfect health in the beginning, at the end I was nearly dead, in acute congestive heart failure and my surgeon told me had I been an actual cigarette smoker I'd never have survived the surgery, if he'd even have attempted it all.. I survived, but suffered for 12 years before a heart transplant was my only hope, however my pathway to being accepted for transplant was firmly rooted in my passing a battery of tests, one of which was lung strength and capacity. You see that second hand smoke left me with COPD (cardio pulmonary obstructive Disease). Long story short, I got my heart transplant but had to be helped by a myriad of drugs and breathing exercises to build up my lungs enough to ween from the ventilator.

To those who disparage second hand smoke, I really question your compassion for fellow human beings (and common sense). This is not a freedom issue. No one who enters a public space or public building should have to worry about their lungs being poisoned by the addicts who simply cannot control their cravings. Sure, we could leave the premises, but Why, we're not poisoning anyone's air, it's a public place and should be suitable for all the public. There are millions of people walking around with COPD.

Does anyone really want bars and restaurants to be able to decide what health rules their going to follow, whether it be the food, the drinks, the water and yes........the air their serving up through the vents

BTW, I still have the COPD, there is no cure

CobaltGeorge
164292
Points
CobaltGeorge 10/29/13 - 07:35 am
0
1
BAS

I am so glad to know that there is nothing else that KILLS innocent Americans everyday!!

Little Lamb
46860
Points
Little Lamb 10/29/13 - 11:17 am
0
1
BAS

It is difficult to know whether to take BAS seriously or to high-five him for his clever use of sarcasm.

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