Monday, February 02, 2009

A new law worth clapping about

A new law worth clapping about!

A new law was passed two weeks ago and became effective immediately within the province of Ontario.

It is now illegal for anyone to smoke inside a vehicle with any passengers under the age of sixteen years old.

Of course there are some folks out there who aren't happy with this new law. Personally I feel this law doesn't attack a smoker's rights as some might suggest, rather it stands up for those youngsters unable to fend for themselves to obtain a smoke free air space they deserve. In my humble opinion, this law is long overdue!

It surely doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what the health consequences will be to those small passenger victims I often notice who are traveling with adults/parents sitting in the front seat, sucking back their weedy white rollies, inhaling and exhaling their puffs while consequently creating large billowy plumes of misty second hand smoke for little ones to gag and choke back on.

Do the adults doing the smoking with wee audiences in tow not stretch their minds far enough to dare themselves to think of the ramifications down the road, (or even for the here and now) of those subjected to their unhealthy habits? Perhaps common sense disappears when "self" becomes more important to the young "lives" in tow, mainly due to becoming so attached to their cig vice and the ensuing deep breath in, followed by a deep puff of smoke out, they soon forget their audience.

  • Ever smell an ashtray?

  • Ever smell a wee babe after a parent exits with them from a vehicle or home right after smoking a cigarette?

My intent with this post is twofold. First, I am thrilled and just love this new law and I'm cheering loudly over it! I can't even begin to imagine someone daring enough to begin lighting up their cigs in a vehicle with closed windows with our children around, or my grandchildren with them.

Secondly, is it not my intent to offer a personal slam to anyone who chooses to smoke, but don't do with children/youth in your presence! Did you know children who breathe in second hand smoke are subjected to 27% more toxins than the actual smoker is? This is a true statistic and one can only imagine what life was like before restaurants in Canada banned smoking from their indoor premises because whatever the statistic, children aren't the only ones who become susceptible to those added poisonous toxins. You and I are in that loop as well. We become lung filled walking time bombs if predisposed to genetic probabilities, or sudden illnesses. And if we so choose to do so, we also have the right to insist others do not block our air space with pollutants, any kind of them, even second hand smoke.

I've become a crusader of sorts for not only clean air space but also a volunteer spokesperson for all lung disease patients I meet and greet while walking through hospital corridors, or even complete strangers I might chance to see in town towing along oxygen tanks, suffering just to take a deep breath every few seconds while moving along. Smokers make a lot of noise about having rights to smoke where they wish to but let's face it, non-smokers have rights too, a right to breathe fresh clean air not riddled by stale stenches of burned smelling tobacco. If you smoke - whose health (aside from your own) could you be affecting? Do others around you appreciate your habit? Have others around you asked you to stop, or smoke elsewhere? Do you honour that request out of respect or love for them?

For nine years now I have walked side by side with my husband down corridors of respiratory hallways in several hospitals to date. I have seen firsthand what happens when a person becomes afflicted by a lung disease, any lung disease. I have seen the suffering of many, some so deeply unwell my heart breaks when feeling so helpless to assist them in any way to make them feel all better again. I have cheered for my husband's roommates, and was thrilled to find out Lloyd got his new lungs two years ago and is doing fantastic! He had cystic fibrosis, a more common lung disease than my husband's. On a down side, I've seen people with lung diseases so deathly ill, but feebly attempting to get to the smoke hole for their next cigarette despite the affect on their health as their lungs continue to deteriorate. That is awful to watch. The worse yet was seeing a woman holding a small oxygen tank on her lap, sitting against a store front on the cement ledge, barely able to breathe right, but smoking a cigarette. Shortly afterwards we heard a fire truck and wondered about her, because oxygen and cigarettes don't belong together.

On a personal note, I have some people in my own life whom I love dearly who haven't cracked the smoking vice yet and seemingly don't care to, despite (!) the knowledge of possible harm towards a negative medical prognosis in the future.

  • Do they even care? Maybe but actions speak louder than words.

  • Do I get after them? Of course I do, mainly out of love and concern for them and nothing more.

  • Do they smoke in front of me? They've tried....never with silence or approval from me. They can either stop or I will begin to walk until they complete their filthy fix. (sounds harsh huh?)

  • Do they smoke in front of their children? Yes. And that bugs me to bits and in my own opinion crosses the line of all wisdom nugget possession possible!

That said; If you're reading this and you smoke cigarettes, cigars, a pipe or any other type of smoky substance – now you know firsthand that I'm an advocate of this new law and I'll be bothering you even more than before...k? Maybe I'll have to rally parliament to have this law imposed Canada and US wide. Yep, it's a good goal

If a smoker could view the interior of his/her lungs, perhaps even catch a glimpse and see into the future the end result of their smoking habit over time, would they still smoke? I wonder. Would they care? I wonder. But because we can't view the future with crystal lenses, nor can we see directly into our own lung interiors, I will leave you with a few videos to watch at your leisure below, which are very short in length, and yet the message will make your jaw drop to the floor. Or will it?

Now I'm off to suck back some clean air and fill my lungs up with the (snowy) fresh stuff as best as I can. That's my kind of puff...oh yeah baby!