Skip to comments.Secondhand Smoke Debate Continues
Posted on 01/28/2008 5:43:52 PM PST by Diana in Wisconsin
Secondhand smoke is the Rodney Dangerfield of health care problems, said Dr. James Casanova, the vice president for medical affairs at St. Mary's Hospital.
"It hasn't gotten enough respect," Casanova said. "People think, 'Oh yeah, it's probably bad.' But when you read the statistics it blows you away."
Casanova recited the statistics Sunday afternoon during a town hall meeting at the Dry Bean Saloon in Fitchburg. The local event was one in a series of town halls being held around the state on Wisconsin's hotly debated smoke-free proposal.
Excess deaths from lung cancer due to secondhand smoke number 3,400 annually, according to a 2006 surgeon general's report summarizing 30 to 40 years of research, Casanova said.
Secondhand smoke has caused 435 deaths a year from sudden infant death syndrome and 47,000 excess deaths annually from cardiac disease, he said.
Smoking related death hit close to home for Casanova two months ago when his 75-year-old sister died from throat cancer that was preventable, he said. She had smoked for 50 years, and as a nurse, she should've known better, Casanova said. "But she couldn't quite quit."
Casanova spoke as part of a panel at the event, which drew about 60 people and was designed to bring attention to the Breathe Free Wisconsin Act, a measure to end smoking in all indoor public places including workplaces, public buildings, restaurants and taverns. It passed a Senate committee this month and is waiting for a vote in the Senate.
The bill is supported by a diverse coalition of health care advocacy groups, tourism professionals and the Wisconsin Restaurant Association. Likewise, a broad group of supporters spoke out Sunday.
Maureen Busalacchi, executive director of Smoke Free Wisconsin, said that 15 countries are completely smoke-free as are 22 U.S. states. Minnesota went smoke-free in October; Illinois followed in January.
"Where is Wisconsin? It is time for Wisconsin to go smoke-free. We don't have time to wait anymore," she said, noting that the legislature is only in session until mid-March.
Al Tedeschi, owner of the Villa Tap on Madison's north side, said he was initially staunchly opposed to the city's smoking ban which went into effect 2 1/2 years ago. He watched as some of his fellow bar owners went out of business and added more food at his bar to stay competitive, he said.
He fully supports a statewide ban to "get everyone on the same playing field," Tedeschi said.
Dane County Board member Mark Opitz spoke about growing up in a home where both parents smoked. After he went away to school he found himself on a smoking floor with a smoking roommate at Macalester College. He lives in Middleton, where people can still smoke in restaurants.
"The patchwork of regulations that we have to date haven't done the job," he said. "Communities like mine are reluctant to follow suit."
Smoking, like storm water, traffic, public safety and disease, are regional issues that require regional solutions, Opitz said. "We can't have this piecemeal approach anymore This is the year when the state will rise to the challenge."
Gayle Zinda of Stoughton is a nurse who said she took up smoking because everyone around her did it. She quit 25 years ago, but last year when she went in for a hip replacement she was told she had lung cancer.
"I was totally devastated," she said, adding that she has made it her personal responsibility to talk to anyone who will listen. In fact, Zinda was able to talk Ken Gulseth, owner of the Koffee Kup restaurant in Stoughton into going smoke-free.
"It's the best decision I've made in my career as a restaurant owner," Gulseth said Sunday. He said he hasn't seen any decrease in business and he is the only restaurant in town, with the exception of Culver's and McDonald's, that is entirely smoke-free.
"I hope to God we can get everyone in town and everyone in the state to go smoke-free," he said.
Casanova put it this way: If word got out that the community's water was contaminated, that it had arsenic or cyanide or radioactive substances, the community would be outraged, he said.
"Why are we not equally outraged by contaminated air?"
Your rebuttal? ;)
It’s coming. And it’s coming fast. My Mayor said he would NOT support a smoking ban...and he was re-elected in a landslide. And guess what? Now he’s FOR a smoking ban, and it starts April 1st. Two pubs and a bowling alley are “exempt” for two more years, for some reason.
That must be where he goes to smoke. *SHRUG*
The research that shows this is based on a meta analysis conduct by the US Surgeon General. What they did it take a bunch of studies that were not statistically significant and pooled them together. It’s BS.
Reports, statistics...anyone got real data?
Nah, I didn't think so.
Talk about blowin smoke up somebody’s rear end.
Where’s the scientific proof?
As sensical as Human induced Global Warming.. just the last secular religion prior to ALGORE.
Nanny State Ping...........
So much to rebuttal - so little time...............
“Smoking related death hit close to home for Casanova two months ago when his 75-year-old sister died from throat cancer that was preventable, he said. She had smoked for 50 years, and as a nurse, she should’ve known better, Casanova said. “But she couldn’t quite quit.””
I wonder how the above relates to 2nd hand smoke? And... at 75 years old, should not she have been allowed to smoke?
Nanny state AND smoking Nazi united.
I would certainly accept that second-hand smoke could be hazardous if a non-smoker were in a poorly-ventilated room surrounded by smokers. I don't see that as any reason to ban smoking in well-ventilated restaurants, though.
You can smoke cigerettes for 20 yrs and still walk away!
For the life of me I can’t understand why smokers endure this fascism.
If smokers voted in a block they would probably control every local election. This totally puzzles me why they don’t do this and simply quietly accept this.
Just remember that second hand smoke causes global warming so by opposing a total ban on all smoking anywhere in this country you’re deliberately destroying the world.
Her husband died much earlier from complications of diabetes.
Life's a crap shoot people. Live your own life and allow others to do the same. If you don't want to associate with people that don't adhere to your lifestyle; then don't. But don't go around trying to be a nanny to everyone else.
I wonder why a person can’t open up a tobacco lounge, and then also serve beer and soda pop and other refreshments?
But there's a Hooka bar in town. Owned by a Lebanese guy, who also has a Gyro joint.
It was their choice....
I HATE busy bodies with a passion.
“Secondhand smoke has caused 435 deaths a year from sudden infant death syndrome”
Now see! This is why people don’t take this shit seriously!! this statement is absolutely false! No one has EVER BEEN ABLE TO PROVE to ANY degree that second hand smoke causes SIDS! not even close.
It makes me so MAD!!! Blame the parents smoking for something that the doctors haven’t got a clue about. Way to make the grieving parents feel even WORSE! A-HOLES!