Letter: Second-hand smoke wrong

By The Daily Illini

I wonder how many people killed by drunk drivers were smokers, too. The smokers had no choice in the matter. When someone has to get from point A to point B, pedestrians use crosswalks and drivers use streets. So when a drunk driver hits someone, the victim was not afforded any opportunity to make his own choice.

The same cannot be said of second-hand smoke “victims.” Decades ago, before the hazards of tobacco use were as well-known, the argument for those suffering from the effects of second-hand smoke being victims might have held weight. But now, as demonstrated by the protest staged by Colleges Against Cancer on Nov. 18, the average person has this information readily available. Therefore, it is up to the non-smoker to avoid smoke. Though it’s possible to drink alcohol and socialize in practically any private place on campus, be it in a dorm room or apartment, the same luxury is not afforded to smokers. Most apartments do not permit smoking. To take away bars as an option leaves smokers literally out in the cold come fall and winter.

Smoking is as much a part of the bar atmosphere as alcohol and greasy food, which clogs arteries and can lead to heart disease. While I readily accept the right of any privately owned establishment to be smoke-free, I reject the notion that the government must protect me from second-hand smoke. People who work in or frequent a smoky establishment inherently accept any risks involved. And I suspect that more than one member of the anti-smoking community has happily given business to a smoke-filled establishment.

Dann McKeegan

junior in LAS

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