Dump downtown smoke

There are stories that unfold each day on Broad Street within the confines of buildings more than a century old – untold tales of historical import and fascination. But the real story that occurs each day is the exposure of innocent individuals to the dangers of secondhand smoke. It is not acceptable that smoking is allowed, at liberty, in venues along Broad Street.

From the outset, this letter does not seek to change the health habits of young, reasonable people from smoking cigarettes. That is their decision alone. They know the science. They know the consequences. It is their right to ruin their health, but it is not their right to affect the health of others. This is not OK by any standard and must be made illegal in Augusta.

The costs of secondhand smoke are documented scientifically and are not a matter of speculation. A check of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website (cdc.gov) recites in scientific language the health risks of cancer, cardiovascular disease and myriad other chronic conditions caused or exacerbated by secondhand smoke. It is all there in black and white, not smoke and mirrors (no pun intended, but point made), and its results should be proof enough to pass a ban on smoking in bars in Augusta.

It makes sense for my son, who barkeeps downtown, and the countless other people who deserve a healthy future, compromised by the bad health decisions of unfortunately too many people who smoke cigarettes.

Please, do not continue the state of indoor air pollution in Augusta, and pass a ban. It is a long time coming, and it is such a needed improvement of the social scene in the Garden City.

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