Longworth says smoking is always a risky endeavor

by Jim Longworth

In the early 1960s, the Surgeon General first warned us that cigarette smoking could be harmful, but the number of adult and teen smokers continued to rise anyway.

Later, scientists warned us about the effects of secondhand smoke; that too fell on deaf ears as tobacco companies challenged the research.

But now, at long last, the government has issued a definitive report with undeniable data.

126 Million non smokers are exposed to secondhand smoke each year, and tens of thousands of them have died as a result.

In releasing the new study, Surgeon General Richard Carmona stated that there is no risk- free level of exposure to someone else’s smoke. I agree. Just try eating a meal in a so-called non-smoking section of a restaurant. It’s a joke.

Carmona also said that the only solution is to create totally smoke free buildings.

Thus far, 14 states have passed comprehensive smoke-free workplace laws, and we can only hope that the other thirty-six states will follow suit.

So let’s light a fire under our lawmakers, and demand smoke free buildings.

Secondhand smoke is no longer just a nuisance. Now, it is officially a killer.

The Surgeon General’s report makes it clear, and I agree with his recommendations.

After all, I’d rather die of my own vices than someone else’s.

Jim Longworth is host of ‘“Triad Today’” which can be seen Friday mornings at 6:30 a.m. on ABC 45 (cable channel 7), and Sunday nights at 10 p.m. on UPN 48 (cable channel 14).