Can you imagine this?

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I have a young friend who worked in bars and restaurants to support herself during college. She loved the people she met as well as the flexible hours, which enabled her to maintain a busy school schedule. One thing she didn’t love? The smoky environment.

Not only did it bother her while she was at work, but after some time, she also began to notice that she was coughing more, and had a harder time breathing when she was exercising. Those smoke-filled environments were affecting her in a measurable way: In fact, a visit to her doctor showed that her lung capacity had diminished by 25 percent after working in those environments.

In 2006, the surgeon general of the United States issued a landmark report that made this startling announcement: There is no safe amount of secondhand smoke. Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, many of which are cancer-causing and can also lead to breathing problems, heart problems and other health effects in your body.

This is why BreathEasy Augusta, a community coalition, is advocating for smoke-free workplaces in Richmond County, including bars. Our workers deserve better. In particular, blue-collar and service workers are the most exposed group to secondhand smoke – and with Georgia in the nation’s top 10 for unemployment, job-hopping to avoid secondhand smoke is not an option. Every worker deserves a healthy workplace.

And guess what? Other locales that have smoke-free ordinances have found that businesses actually thrive. For one, they avoid the costs associated with secondhand smoke—roughly $10 billion in medical costs and lost wages, according to Americans for Nonsmokers’ Rights. Second, historically sales actually increase. For example, an analysis by the University of Florida’s Bureau of Economic and Business Research found that restaurant sales were up 7 percent one year after the state’s smoke-free law that made all public places and restaurants smoke-free took effect in July 2003.

Our community also deserves this. A study that measured levels of cotinine, a byproduct created by the body when it breaks down nicotine through smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke, found that cotinine levels were down by 78 percent in nonsmoking workers and 47 percent in nonsmokers in New York following implementation of a smoke-free ordinance.

We’re not alone in promoting smoke-free workplaces. Many other cities and counties in the surrounding region already have smoke-free ordinances in place, such as our two closest neighbors, Columbia County and Aiken County. Others include Savannah and Chatham County, Athens/Clarke County, Charleston and Charleston County.

Can you imagine, as a patron, being able to enjoy music in a club or bar without breathing in and bringing home smoke clinging to your clothing? Can you imagine, as a worker, being able to breathe clean air for your entire eight-hour shift, compared with breathing secondhand smoke for the same amount of time? (And if you think about it, not even the heaviest chain smoker would ever smoke for an entire eight hours!) Can you imagine the positive impact on our businesses for us to be able to say that we made the choice to go smoke-free for the health of our community?

What’s your choice?

Jennifer Anderson

Augusta

(The writer is chairwoman of the BreathEasy Augusta coalition, and is the director of respiratory therapy at Georgia Regents Health System.)

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deestafford
27544
Points
deestafford 11/04/13 - 12:54 am
13
3
The patron can enjoy these things by going to an establishment

where the owner, and not the government, has decided not to allow smoking. People who risk their capital should have the right to determine whether or not they want smoking in their establishment. In turn, it gives patrons freedom of choice which is something the anti-smoking enthusiasts apparently dislike.

oldredneckman96
5095
Points
oldredneckman96 11/04/13 - 05:31 am
7
8
Stinking/Smoking
Unpublished

What Deestafford should consider is what if your boss made you work in a place with some other toxic gas. Mustard gas maybe, or amonia. What if no law existed that would protect you, yes you could quit, where would you go? Where would you be safe? We all know the second hand effects of tobacco are killers, why is there still a debate?

Bodhisattva
6179
Points
Bodhisattva 11/04/13 - 07:16 am
6
2
An imaginary friend, like the

An imaginary friend, like the paid actors in the commercials? The vast majority of nightspots and restaurants don't allow smoking. I Imagine any of the non-smoking businesses would be happy to employ and have the business of the non-smoking populace. It's strange that even your website doesn't link to the actual ordinance, if so, it is well hidden in the dozens of links to stories in the Chronicles, PR bits for your organization, and ads that have been run in city after city across the country (evidently these waiters and waitresses manage to move to places with identical looking establishments and can only find work in those that have a chain smoking clientele). You can find snippets of the ordinance by reading the stories, such as: while claiming you just want a safe place for people to work and would like for people to step outside to smoke, the ordinance seems to ban patio areas that allow smoking. Also, while claiming to only a health oriented group and plan, it bans e-cigarettes, which release nothing but water vapor. Of course it looks like people are smoking so that must be too much for you because you really aren't a health group, your anti smoking and anti tobacco zealots. In your own survey, only 45% of people say they want it banned in bars but you push right ahead. It's the same website, same ads, same propaganda wherever you go, you just change the name of the city. That doesn't fit anti-tobacco Nazi mold though does it? You're also likely breathing more garbage dining alfresco if you're on Broad Street than in a club. Why ignore all of the studies of airborne carcinogens in commercial kitchens just from the cooking of food? You don't even mention that, yet it's as real, possibly even more of a risk than secondhand smoke. Thiebaud(1995) indicates that the fumes generated by frying pork and beef were mutagenic. Hence, the chefs are exposed to relatively high levels of airborne mutagens and carcinogens. Vainiotalo (1993) carried out measurements at eight workplaces. The survey confirmed that cooking fumes contain hazardous components. It also indicated that kitchen worker may be exposed to relatively high concentration of airborne impurities. Although cigarette smoking is considered to be the most important cause of lung cancer, smoking behavior cannot fully explains the epidemiological characteristics of lung cancer among Asian women, who rarely smoke but contract lung cancer relatively often. Ng (1993) study found that over 97 % of the women in Singapore do not smoke. Thus, the presumable source of indoor air pollution for housewives is passive smoking and cooking. This study indicates that greater relative odds of respiratory symptoms were associated with the weekly frequency of gas cooking." A one trick pony and the trick is anti-smoking, even if it just looks like smoking, as in the e-cigarettes. That, and the no patio were your big tells. You don't want it to move outside like you claim. You don't want it. Next you'll push an ordinance banning it from the sidewalks because, gasp, people have to walk by and may get a few molecules on their clothes and breathe a few. Just ignore that big diesel truck waiting at the red light. Totally harmless vapor spouting from it.

seenitB4
87091
Points
seenitB4 11/04/13 - 07:23 am
12
3
Smoking kills--yes we know that

She could work a lifetime in a smoke free restaurant & a drunk driver could kill her on the way home...sooo.....what I'm saying is.....we can't legislate EVERYTHING in life..we tried & it doesn't work.

Bulldog
1324
Points
Bulldog 11/04/13 - 08:38 am
8
3
The cart is before the horse.

It is apparent that the writer has come to believe that employers somehow owe prospective employees something more than freedom of choice. If you don't like smoking, don't work there. If you don't like the pay scale, don't work there. If you don't like the benefits, don't work there. If you don't like the owners hair color, don't work there! The fact that there are probably more nonsmoking facilities than ones who allow it, is immaterial. The guiding principle here is that the free market will decide who remains open and who does not. I, for one, do not go where I have to deal with smoking. I spend my money elsewhere, however, if you want to smoke then go right ahead. Killing yourself is still your own business. (At least for a little while longer.)This writer sounds very much like the typical liberal who is tolerant only of his own positions.

deestafford
27544
Points
deestafford 11/04/13 - 09:00 am
6
1
Bod, Excellent, well researched comment.

oldredneck, Those toxic gases such as Mustard are illegal whereas smoking is not. As has been pointed out no one makes someone take a job in a smoking business.

There are many studies which overstate any harmful effects of second hand smoke because these who write the studies have money from grants to do antismoking research. I never see the names of people who have supposedly died of second hand smoke along with conclusive proof that it was second hand smoke.

Bizkit
31326
Points
Bizkit 11/04/13 - 09:51 am
3
1
If an unhealthy environment

If an unhealthy environment were an issue Paine college would be closed. The building are dilapidated most ancient building filled with lead paint, asbestos and mold everywhere. OSHA would have a field day, but despite complaints nothing has been done. Fire codes broken left and right but nothing.

Bizkit
31326
Points
Bizkit 11/04/13 - 10:01 am
6
2
Why aren't all the baby

Why aren't all the baby boomers dead from cancer since smoking "causes" cancer-their parents smoked, teachers smoked, everyone smoked, then they grew up to smoke. Since smoking has decreased from nearly half the population in the 60s to about 20% now cancer has actually increased in incidence and not decreased. Most of the previous generation and baby boomers have died from heart disease-not cancer. I smoked but also was exposed to about every carcinogen known to man-if I get cancer what caused it? We are exposed to carcinogens in "legal regulated" amounts in food, water, air, and work exposures. Even if you never smoke you will exposed to many of the same carcinogens. The letter writer assumes the "cause and effect" of the workplace is the cause of her respiratory problems but it could be from numerous other issues. Mold in the bar could cause the respiratory problems as well as about a dozen other factors.

dichotomy
32890
Points
dichotomy 11/04/13 - 10:41 am
6
2
If smoking and second hand

If smoking and second hand smoke are so deadly, I just don't understand where we got all of these old folks who are still alive and doing well from a generation where 50% of the people smoked.....EVERYWHERE......for some, or all, of their lives.

The anti-smokers have been running around for 40 or 50 years touting numbers that they have not proven and cannot be proved. The issue is all about the smell...which I admit is offensive to most non-smokers. BUT....there are a whole lot of fat women running around with loud perfume that is JUST AS OFFENSIVE TO ME. Nothing worse than being pinned up in an elevator with a fat woman that smells like she did a meat rub with potpourri.

And as for E-cigarettes, THERE IS NO LEGAL, MEDICAL, OR "SMELL" reason to ban E-cigarettes from ANYWHERE. To even mention banning E-cigarettes just goes to prove WHAT HYPOCRITES you crusaders are and always have been.

So LET'S IMAGINE THIS. How about you CRUSADERS keep you nose out of other people's business and patronize non-smoking establishments. How about you let PRIVATE BUSINESS OWNERS decide what kind of customers they want to cater to. If, as you say, 75% of people don't smoke and don't want to be around smoker I AM SURE THERE WILL BE LOT'S OF NON-SMOKING BARS FOR YOU TO PATRONIZE and for non-smoking employees to get jobs.

And have you ever considered that since we have all of these 80 and 90 year old people still alive and kicking from a generation where 50% of the people smoked at home, at work, in restaurants, in bars, in cars, EVERYWHERE...........MAYBE it is something else that is causing all of the RECENT respiratory problems and cancers. MAYBE it is your Mercedes, or Lexus, or BMW....OR....MAYBE it is your stinking PERFUME.

I want PERFUME banned from use in public. I want INHALERS banned from use in public. I want CARS banned. I want BUSES banned. I want all industry to be banned from venting ANYTHING into the air. I want ALL FIREPLACES in PRIVATE HOMES bricked up and sealed.

Bizkit
31326
Points
Bizkit 11/04/13 - 10:58 am
3
2
Dichot obesity is far more a

Dichot obesity is far more a danger to our societal health than tobacco use which has decreased. It affects our youth to old age and every ethnicity. It produces immediate negative responses and long term negative health impact. They should ban all restaurants and especially fast food restaurants because of the huge negative economic impact from obesity. Restaurants will be held accountable for weight gain (just like loss of weight with the Subway dude). Since there is no personal responsibility we have to find someone to blame. I have a hemorrhoid-it's Obama's fault because he is a pain in the-well good manner prevents me from saying. It's about time someone blames him rather him blame everyone else.

Bizkit
31326
Points
Bizkit 11/04/13 - 11:01 am
4
2
I'm having heart palpitations

I'm having heart palpitations because I'm worried about my new expenses in health care because of Barak Obama. Barak Obama is responsible for my heart problems and if I die-he might as well have stuck a knife in my heart. Wow this works great. I can now go through my whole life and blame others for my failures. I'm just perfect now.

Gary Ross
3346
Points
Gary Ross 11/04/13 - 11:46 am
7
1
25% LUNG CAPACITY?

She lost 25% of her young lung capacity? Sounds like a gross exageration just to sting a point. Like most comments here, why is she still working in an environment where she knows its killing her (provided the 25% claim is true)? You'd think she would be smart enough to find a safer job instead of singling out a certain segemnt of the population to blame. There's an old saying; if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen! And then you can also say that some of the folks who attend places like that will get in their car and drive home while under the influence of alcohol, but nothing is said about that side of the equation?

Little Lamb
45901
Points
Little Lamb 11/04/13 - 12:40 pm
5
1
Can you imagine liberty?

Actually, imagining is all we can do, because liberty has been taken away from us.

About her supposed friend, Jennifer Anderson posted:

One thing she didn’t love? The smoky environment.

Then it was up to Jennifer's supposed friend to take responsibility upon herself to remove herself from a work environment she didn't love.

nocnoc
42499
Points
nocnoc 11/04/13 - 03:57 pm
5
2
2nd hand Smoke is a Myth in our family

just like Global Warming.

A fact proven and reproved since the original 1994 2nd Hand smoke study was determined to be flawed in the way it was conducted. The data flaws have not kept the crusaders from pushing and pushing for more restrictions tho has it?

Once again Politics
has been allowed to enter the Health field.
Now they want use to panic and the truth.
Face it there are those that use any cause for nothing more than to be suppress others and thus gain power through Political Action and Pressure groups.

BTW:
I quit smoking (Salem's and Newport's) in 1990 after 20 years.

My Grandpa smoked for 70+ and lived to be 87 y/o

My Uncle A. smoked for 70+ and live to be 91 y/o

My Father smoked cigars for 60 years. Died @ 74 y/o of Agent Orange

My Brother still smokes after 52 years.

My Sister smoked for 30 years. she just turned 29 x 2 and some

Most of my Blood relatives smoked 20+++ years.
-----------------------------------
But NOT 1 has Died of Lung Cancer.
and Not 1 of their kids around them has lung problems.
That is 3 generations and at least 50++ people

In Fact:
Cooking Lard has killed more than its share in my family and relatives by stroke, and heart issues. So we need to ban cooking lard from Night clubs.

Summary:
It would seem with so many Family adults smokers at least one would have had lung cancer. Or at least 1 kid would have had lung problems.

ZERO.

So shoots a hole in the 2nd hand smoke theory for at least our family.

Red Headed Step Child
4055
Points
Red Headed Step Child 11/04/13 - 04:02 pm
2
0
@dichotomy

meat rub with potpourri....I'm still gasping for breath from laughing! Oh, the visual....

Red Headed Step Child
4055
Points
Red Headed Step Child 11/04/13 - 04:45 pm
5
1
@Bizkit

Correlations have been made between smoking and the increase of cardiovascular disease...the CDC cites that Cigarette smoking causes reduced circulation by narrowing the blood vessels and puts smokers at risk of developing peripheral vascular disease and coronary heart disease. Maybe that's what happened to those baby boomers...

I've said it before - the human body is still an enigma. I'm sure arguments can be made pro and con. If a habit ends up killing me, I plan on kicking off from an overdose of bacon. It smells good, tastes good...what a way to go!

Bizkit
31326
Points
Bizkit 11/04/13 - 05:35 pm
3
2
Actually now they are saying

Actually now they are saying gut bacteria may have more to do with cardiovascular disease than any other factor. Lecithin and Choline in our diet are converted by bacteria in the gut to plaque forming factors apparently. So for years all the data may have been coincidental. Believe me lots of hypotheses have bit the dust after decades of million dollar grants supporting said hypotheses only later to be proven wrong. I know of four scientist at MCG that turned their fields on its head too disproving dogma and prominent hypotheses.

Bizkit
31326
Points
Bizkit 11/04/13 - 05:34 pm
3
2
Cancer or heart disease-give

Cancer or heart disease-give me heart disease any day. Let me go quick rather than languish in pain.

Red Headed Step Child
4055
Points
Red Headed Step Child 11/04/13 - 05:45 pm
2
0
@Bizkit

that and poor dental care...who knew? Got me to finally floss regularly! Come to think of it, it may be a ploy by those nefarious dentists! They're always harangueing you to floss!

Bizkit
31326
Points
Bizkit 11/04/13 - 05:58 pm
3
0
I know some vascular surgeons

I know some vascular surgeons who lament smoking keeps them in business -ironically couple of them still smoke.

aintryt
189
Points
aintryt 11/04/13 - 08:29 pm
3
1
Give me solid proof

Show me ONE death certificate that says the cause of death was second hand smoke.

aintryt
189
Points
aintryt 11/04/13 - 08:41 pm
2
2
Back it up......

Sure would be nice if some of you commenting on here would show up for the commissioner's meeting Tuesday, November 5 at 2:00 pm because let me tell you what goes down...The Breathe Easy Coalition gets as many people to fill the room as possible wearing bright stickers and recruits the "saddest" cases to tell their story. They spew a bunch of slanted statistics when the commissioners really need to hear how the people that voted them in office feel about this. Tomorrow will be the 4th time I've gone face to face and head to head to fight this battle. We won before and we can win again!

deestafford
27544
Points
deestafford 11/04/13 - 09:17 pm
3
1
I recall not so long ago when the Army was pushing it anti-

smoking campaign and they hyped it by saying, "We are losing 'x' number of divisions equivalents to smoking illnesses each year." Well, I command thousands of soldiers over my 27 years and not one, and I mean zero, ever went on sick call or lost a day of duty for something smoker related. Give zealots an millimeter and they'll take a mile.

oldredneckman96
5095
Points
oldredneckman96 11/04/13 - 09:46 pm
1
4
Smokers, drug addicts, criminals.
Unpublished

Apparently none of the drug addicts posting to support tobacco have children that they love. To allow a poison spreading drug addict to walk around in public spreading toxins for our children to inhale is criminal. These drug addicts will believe anything that tends to support their habit. The latest hoax concerns the e-ciggs, so popular now. The hype the makers of these pipes would have you believe that your lungs perform magic that traps all the nicotine in the glycol mist before you exhale! This conversation about how to control tobacco use in public as to be kept between adults who have a clear mind and the addicts must remain at the children’s table.

Bizkit
31326
Points
Bizkit 11/04/13 - 10:24 pm
1
2
Nicotine doesn't cause

Nicotine doesn't cause cancer. It in fact increases alertness and enhances memory. Some of that research was at the Medical College of Georgia. It is used medicinally too. It is addictive but it isn't what is a health hazard in tobacco. When you smoke tobacco it already contains some carcinogens (so chewing you are exposed to about 30 carcinogens which nicotine isn't one of them) then combustion creates hundreds more. Now nicotine can be poisonous to humans in large amounts, and until recent times was used as an insecticide. But nicotine binds to nicotinic cholinergic receptors in the brain which alters other neurotransmitters, and in the adrenal medulla binding to the same receptors stimulates epinephrine-norepinephrine production that mediates the fight or flight response. Smoking tobacco increases your risks of Alzheimer's but there are numerous publications that nicotine itself may prevent or treat Alzheimer's. It isn't nicotine that is the culprit. In fact it isn't nicotine that is completely responsible for it's addictive properties. Tobacco contains monoamine oxidase inhibitors that decreases dopamine and other neurotransmitters and mixed with nicotine produces the addictive effect. Risk of ulcerative colitis has been frequently shown to be reduced by smokers on a dose-dependent basis; the effect is eliminated if the individual stops smoking That is but one of the Smoker's Paradoxes that you don't hear about where smoking associates with a positive health risk.

KSL
129306
Points
KSL 11/04/13 - 11:00 pm
2
2
Oldredneck, that is pretty hard there,

And a bit insulting, I might add. My spouse and I both grew up around smoking parents for years. I don't think either one of us suffered consequences.

Conversely, my grand children, who have not been exposed to second hand smoke, have repiratory problems totally unknown in h volume occurring compared to our generation.

Reread Bizcuit's earlier post about the exposure we had. Let's see: exposure to asbestos, lead paint, gas with lead (I pumped that gas in the early 60's at my grandmother's store for her), and cabontet to clean off globs of oily tarry stuff when we spent 2 weeks at Virginia Beach for my dad's post WW2 Reserve 2 weeks. A navy ship or ships were leaking stuff that got on you in the water and on the beach.

What esle? Oh, playing with mercury that leaked out of a broken thermometer.I drank raw milk, ate raw butter, rode around without seatbelts, or carseats until I was in late elementary school. Actually never used a sealtbelt until it became the law. (Had a close friend who our senior year in high school was in a wreck. She would have died had she been wearing a seatbelt.She was thrown from the car and broke something like an arm. I don't have a clear memory.)

KSL
129306
Points
KSL 11/04/13 - 11:21 pm
2
2
Oldred

We haven't smoked. Nor my siblings, or our (all of our children, at least not around us.

All that second hand smoke DID NOT lead to addiction. Funny, most of our parents smoked, but most of our classmates did not. Then along came the really younger people who are more prone to smoking.

dichotomy
32890
Points
dichotomy 11/04/13 - 11:44 pm
4
1
"This conversation about how

"This conversation about how to control tobacco use in public as to be kept between adults who have a clear mind and the addicts must remain at the children’s table."

oldredneckman.....don't you mean you want to keep the conversation controlled by those full of hypocrisy and arrogance who think the world revolves around themselves and no one else.

The only "adult" answer here is to allow the business owners to decide whether their business will be a Smoking or Non-Smoking and let the supposedly intelligent clientele decide which businesses they will patronize. Anything else is just another step toward Gestapo Government.

As for E-cigarettes.....there is not the first study or legal reason to outlaw them. Even the feds have not regulated them. I am not sure anyone has the legal authority to ban them since all ingredients are legal, deemed safe by the FDA, and there is no research or studies saying they are hazardous. There is no odor, no danger, no nothing. Just a bunch of whining hypocrites that hate people who have found an alternative to tobacco.

It's just amazing how much trouble a few whiners and busybodies can stir up.

Vote NO on this ordinance and drive a wooden stake through it's heart and kill it forever dead.

oldredneckman96
5095
Points
oldredneckman96 11/05/13 - 06:49 pm
1
2
tobacco addicts
Unpublished

It just gets better and better. Addicts screaming to smoke while they still can breathe. Addicts willing to kill the children who will take care of them when they are gasping for breath in their death bed. Addicts with no idea why or what they will say to defend the indefenceable. You do not have the right to kill others with your habit.

oldredneckman96
5095
Points
oldredneckman96 11/05/13 - 06:49 pm
1
2
tobacco addicts
Unpublished

It just gets better and better. Addicts screaming to smoke while they still can breathe. Addicts willing to kill the children who will take care of them when they are gasping for breath in their death bed. Addicts with no idea why or what they will say to defend the indefenceable. You do not have the right to kill others with your habit.

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