Life-long second-hand smoker not upset by ban on public consumption

Amy Eggert

Amy Eggert

On the first day of October, Minnesota’s “Freedom to Breathe Act” went into effect. This act essentially bans smoking inside any public building in Minnesota, with the exception of casinos and other establishments on Native American lands. I had the opportunity to experience the difference myself this past Saturday, Oct. 13, at The Myth Nightclub in Maplewood, Minn. As a life-long second-hand smoker, being able to be around my sister for five hours without inhaling noxious fumes-well, cigarette fumes at least–was fantastic. Aside from the annoying drunk guy behind me who apparently thought he should be headlining the concert, the atmosphere was amazingly clear and refreshing. The icing on the cake was walking out of the club and realizing I didn’t smell like I had a 20-pack-a-day habit.

I’ve been around smokers my entire life. Although I have never smoked, I’ve inhaled enough second-hand smoke to most likely knock a few years off my life. My parents smoked until the early 90s, and two of my sisters have smoked since they were teenagers. One of my uncles smoked until a few years ago when his cancer-riddled larynx was surgically removed from his throat.

Everyone is free to start smoking; that’s their right and the majority of the repercussions will be for them to deal with. And quite honestly, I don’t care if they do. I personally think it’s not the smartest thing to do, but I know a lot of people I would hate to deal with if they were denied their daily nicotine fix. It’s a legal substance; people over the age of 18 are perfectly within their rights to smoke ’em if they’ve got ’em.

I’m not calling for a total ban on smoking. I’m simply advocating for a better night life for us non-smokers. A nightlife where I can go to the downtown hotspots in Brookings and can come out smelling as fresh as when I walked in, where my eyes don’t burn and water from too much smoke and where I don’t feel like I need to shower as soon as I got home.

Is that too much to ask?

#1.883004:2987100544.jpg:eggert,amy.jpg:Amy Eggert, Southern Minnesota: