Establishments should ban deathly habit

Published 8:53pm Thursday, February 7, 2013

According to the American Lung Association, cigarette smoking is the number one cause of preventable disease and death worldwide. Smoking-related diseases claim more than 393,000 American lives each year.

And let’s not forget that smoking tobacco products is not only hard on your health, but on the wallet too.

Smoking cost the United States more than $193 billion in 2004, or on average $4,260 per adult smoker.

With such significant statistics, we have to wonder why people still pick up this deathly habit.

Several area establishments have taken note of the fatal consequences of cigarette smoking and banned all smoking activities on their grounds, and we commend them for taking such powerful action.

Vaughan Regional Medical Center, as of Nov. 1, made their campus completely smoke free. We applaud Vaughan for taking this life-saving step and we encourage all other area establishments to do the same.

As a community, we should also target children and teenagers when it comes to awareness and the deadly consequences of tobacco use.

In 2009, 19.5 percent of high school students were reported as current smokers and more than five percent of middle school students were smokers in 2009.

These numbers are not only astounding, but also concerning. If we could get Selma to be 100 percent smoke free, we could put a severe dent in smoking-related deaths in Dallas County.

In Alabama alone, 22.1 percent of the adult population, or 783,000 individuals are current cigarette smokers. Compared to the rest of the United States, Alabama ranks in the top 10 for cigarette use.

By eliminating smoking in restaurants, bars, schools, business offices and other area establishments, we could decrease these numbers significantly and thus decrease the amount of smoking related deaths in Selma and Dallas County.

With such strong incentive to put an end to this deadly habit, there should be no reason not to ban smoking. This habit also not only affects the smoker, but those who live with them and breathe the same air — creating a deathly spiral effect.

Let’s put an end to all smoking-related deaths in Dallas County.

Let’s nip smoking in the bud.

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