Cigar smoke is a threat to others -- ...

Cigar smoke is a threat to others -- Perry Hall

There are 8 comments on the Baltimore Sun story from Jun 4, 2008, titled Cigar smoke is a threat to others -- Perry Hall. In it, Baltimore Sun reports that:

The writer of the letter "Don't try to protect us from ourselves" states that it is wrong for the city to ban cheap cigars.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Baltimore Sun.

Albert_Benson

Dana Point, CA

#1 Jun 4, 2008
Cigar smoke is a threat to others. 25 years ago, I was
seriously injured by cigar smokers in my workplace. The cigar smoke was so strong that even cigarette smokers could not tolerate it. I am a 'never smoker', a veteran of WW II serving in the Pacific Theatre in the 25th Inf. Division but was fortunate enough to be able to go to school to become an electronics engineer where my workplace was generally smokefree. It was not until I accepted a position where cigar and cigarette smoke characterized our workplace that 4 years later, I became a victim of asthmatic bronchitis, where now I am extremely
hypersensitive to second hand smoke. Yes, cigar smoke
does harm other people.
Surf52

Baltimore, MD

#2 Jun 4, 2008
It's already illegal to smoke anything in the workplace in this State. Stop trying to ban the sale of a legal product. And quit whining.
Jeff

United States

#3 Jun 4, 2008
Whether or not cigar smoke is harmful is actually not the issue. Exposure to a high enough concentration over a long enough period of time is of course dangerous. But you could make the same argument for oxygen. The real issue is how serious is the risk to those who cannot easily avoid it. Given current smoking laws, I would argue there is *no one* who must unavoidably encounter second-hand smoke for more than a few moments of time, and even then under very dilute conditions. Further smoking regulation is merely the majority imposing their preference for "not having to smell your smoke" on the minority. Second-hand smoke is merely the man in the clown suit employed to deflect the attention of the crowd.
Surf52

Baltimore, MD

#4 Jun 4, 2008
Jeff wrote:
Whether or not cigar smoke is harmful is actually not the issue. Exposure to a high enough concentration over a long enough period of time is of course dangerous. But you could make the same argument for oxygen. The real issue is how serious is the risk to those who cannot easily avoid it. Given current smoking laws, I would argue there is *no one* who must unavoidably encounter second-hand smoke for more than a few moments of time, and even then under very dilute conditions. Further smoking regulation is merely the majority imposing their preference for "not having to smell your smoke" on the minority. Second-hand smoke is merely the man in the clown suit employed to deflect the attention of the crowd.
Amen
Innocent Non-Smoker

Grand Rapids, MI

#5 Jun 4, 2008
Let me first start off by saying that I am an avid non-smoker, and I really appreciate (in fact, love) fresh, clean air that is free of second-hand smoke. The recent $1.25 cigarette tax hike implemented throughout the State of New York is an excellent step in the right direction from a social, health and financial perspective; and one that should be adopted nation-wide. The general argument put forth by a smoker goes something like this,“Cigarette smoking is my choice, and it affects only me, and therefore, I should not be punished for my decision to smoke”. If this statement were entirely correct, then I would not mind other people smoking. However, when a certain portion of society smokes regularly, it negatively affects us all (including the innocent non-smoker) in two ways:

First of all, there is no doubt that many smokers suffer from debilitating and sometimes severe physical ailments, ranging from lung cancer, mouth and lip cancer, throat cancer, emphysema, bronchitis, asthma, etc.(the list goes on). There is also no doubt that many of such smokers constitute a large portion of working class and corporate America. There is also no doubt that one of the largest (and perhaps, hidden) costs incurred by society, businesses, etc. relate to worker/employee absence due to health-related issues (whether smoking-related or not). Employers of unhealthy employees suffer financially by having to replace and train new employees at high costs, replace absent employees with temporary help, subsidize the costs of doctor visits and medicine for unhealthy employees (esp. in the case of self-insurance and increased premium costs), etc. Society (meaning, you and I) pays from its pockets since our tax dollars are partially used to fund the State’s Medicare/Medicaid Plans, which are no doubt utilized by sufferers of first-hand smoke. Therefore, the public (which includes innocent non-smokers) is left footing the bill for the actions of society’s smokers.

Secondly, there is scientific evidence that second-hand smoke is actually more dangerous than first-hand smoke. Ironic, isn’t it? Everyday, innocent non-smokers walk the streets of Manhattan and inevitably inhale (potentially) large amounts of second-hand smoke from people smoking on the streets. Arguably, a certain portion of such innocent “second-hand smokers” will develop physical ailments related to second-hand smoke. My question to you, dear smokers, is this; who will be help responsible when an innocent non-smoker develops lung cancer from constantly inhaling such second-hand smoke? Will you pay for their medical costs, their funeral, etc.?

Therefore, for a smoker to argue that he/she has a right to smoke simply because it does not negatively affect other people is simply naïve. Another issue not discussed in the recent news (based on what I have read so far) is just how the additional tax dollars will be spent. I believe that, in general, cigarette taxes should be used to fund three major programs. First and foremost, cigarette taxes should be used to compensate the innocent victims of second-hand smoke. Second, such taxes should be used to fund nicotine addiction programs targeted at the smoking population that is trying to quit. And third, such taxes should be used to fund a compliance program to ensure that non-taxed cigarette sales do not occur “underground”. It is reasonable to assume that the current (and future) increase in the sales tax of any given commodity will inevitably lead to the development of a so-called black market; i.e., one in which unregulated goods are smuggled from other countries and sold tax-free. This practice must be prevented as it will negate any of the favorable outcomes from this tax hike.
Deja

United States

#6 Jun 5, 2008
Air quality test results by Johns Hopkins University, the American Cancer Society, a Minnesota Environmental Health Department, and various researchers whose testing and report was peer reviewed and published in the esteemed British Medical Journal......prove that secondhand smoke is 2.6 - 25,000 times SAFER than occupational (OSHA) workplace regulations:

http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2007/11/j...

http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2007/04/b...

http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2004/04/a...

http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2006/02/a...

http://cleanairquality.blogspot.com/2008/03/b...

All nullify the argument that secondhand smoke is a workplace health hazard.

And the fact that OSHA has permissible exposure limits (pel) for the components of secondhand smoke means that OSHA federal regulations pre-empt states smoking ban laws.
christine

Olive Branch, MS

#7 Jun 6, 2008
First of all I get so tired of people talking about Smokers.If it were not for the SMOKERS your taxes would go up higher.Smokers are charged so high on taxes it isnt funny.We pay for everything.YOU DONT! Another thing is why push this issue now? Why did you not complain about it years ago?The reason I am seeing is because now you are in bad shape and wanting to blame someone.Factories and Plants around the world put off more Pollutants in the air that you Breathe,I call this the slow Death.Dont blame smokers it was also your CHOICE to work where you did.The smokers did not make you work there at all.If it really did bother you why did you stay in that room? You make me sick by Blaming Smokers other than yourself and your decisions you made.
Surf52

Baltimore, MD

#8 Jun 6, 2008
What would happen if they actually achieved the stated goal of the elimination of legal smoking through taxation (smuggling would rival drugs, of course)? All of the programs they are trying to fund through highr cigarette taxes would also have to go away!

That will never happen because Government's just can't live within their means.

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