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From the Wetzel County Cancer Coalition

By Staff | Aug 24, 2016

Dear Editor,

Smoking is bad for your health. But what most people may not realize that breathing smoke from the end of someone else’s cigarette, pipe or cigar is full of the same cancer-causing chemicals inhaled by the smoker. This smoke, combined with the smoke exhaled by smokers, is secondhand smoke.

Secondhand smoke damages your heart and blood circulation which increases the risk of heart disease. Studies show that more than 45,000 people die every year from heart disease caused by breathing secondhand smoke. Every year secondhand smoke causes more than 3,000 lung cancer deaths in nonsmokers.

The Wetzel/Tyler Board of Health is charged with the duty to protect the citizens of Wetzel and Tyler Counties concerning health issues. They have before them a regulation which would prohibit smoking in places where the public congregates. Opponents of this regulation say they will lose business and that people have a “right” to smoke. Where do the rights of the smoker end and the rights of the nonsmokers begin?

The issue seems to be money; loss of income, loss of jobs, loss of businesses. In other counties that adopted a similar regulations, these losses were minimal. What price do we put on a life? What does smoking cost our health care system? How does this affect your health care costs?

The Wetzel County Cancer Coalition supports this regulation. Our purpose is “To reduce the cancer incidence rates in Wetzel County, WV.” We think this is progress in the right direction.

Marilyn Thomas, Liz Hartman, Kittie Long, Mary Ellen Conn, and Shelly Dusic