Being the president of Teens Against Tobacco Use (TATu) at Notre Dame High School and also a member of the Harrison County Chapter, I would like to express my thoughts on the Clean Indoor Air Regulation.
Everyone has the right to go into a restaurant and eat a meal without being bothered by drifting smoke odor. I understand that there are non-smoking and smoking sections in most restaurants, but no matter how vented the area is, you can still smell and feel the effects of cigarette smoke. In some restaurants, you must walk through the smoking section to get to the non-smoking section.
People have the right to smoke and I feel that they can do this before entering or after leaving the restaurant. A smoke has a choice to either smoke or not smoke. A non-smoker has no choice. If we decide to go into a restaurant to eat, we must be willing to suffer at the hands of the smokers.
All people should be able to go out with their friends and family to share a meal and not have to worry about second-hand smoke, which kills 53,000 non-smokers annually. It also has been proven that smoke-free policies do not hurt the restaurant business.
I think that it would benefit all Harrison County citizens to have smoke-free restaurants by passing the Clean Indoor Air Regulation.
Non-smoking areas in public places is not enough
I am writing this letter on behalf of Harrison County's children and young adults. I feel that, at times, our concerns and thoughts are overlooked, and I wanted to write to show that I care and that our thoughts do matter.
I am firmly behind the passage of the Harrison County Clean Indoor Air Act.
The smokers of Harrison County argue that there are non-smoking areas in restaurants, malls and buildings, but this is not enough. A few weeks ago, my family and I decided to go out for a nice family dinner. "Smoking or non-smoking?" we were asked at the door. "Non-smoking" was our immediate answer.
The hostess led us to a table, where we began to browse through the menu. All of a sudden, all of this smoke came pouring in over our table.
I looked around to make sure that we were in the non-smoking section, but there was no partition between the two different sections. The smoke flowed freely from one section to another. This is one reason why non-smoking areas are not enough.
The next reason for me hit a little closer to home. The harmful effects of secondhand smoke were evident as my younger brother began to cough.
My brother was diagnosed at the age of five with asthma. This cloud of smoke resulted in my brother's coughing.
Unlike you or me, his coughing would not stop when we left the restaurant. The whole night was spent coughing and taking one breathing treatment or puff of an inhaler after another.
I could go on all day with reasons to pass this act, but I realize that you have many other letters to read. Thank you for your time.
We have good kids in the world today
Recently, I attended the concert of Maynard Ferguson and his band at Robert C. Byrd High School. Naturally, I was anxious to see Brian Wolfe perform, since he's a local young man and friend of our family for years.
While listening to this great band perform, I learned something interesting. We hear every day about how some of our young people are wild and out of control from the influences of the world. I was astounded to see the young people there in total awe of the band, the music and probably, most of all, their local boy, Brian.
They were well disciplined, polite and truly interested in what was happening. You could tell this was their sole purpose for being there -- not just some place to go for the evening.
I sat by one father from Morgantown whose son had taken private lessons from Brian and was recently chosen in his high school jazz band. This boy was absorbing every minute of the concert.
We have good kids in our world today and we should let them know. My hat goes off to the young people who attended that concert. You would have made any of us moms and dads proud. Keep up the good work!