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?"
“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 shouldve known better, Casanova said. But she couldnt quite quit.
Um...isn’t 75 past the age where we would consider someone to die “young?”
I’d say this just proves the point that smoking won’t always cut your life short. I know many non smokers who didn’t make it to 75 years old!
so basically...your going to die anyway...why not do what you WANT?
“You can smoke cigerettes for 20 yrs and still walk away!”
55 years smoking and here I am.
You want filth,check out the black,disgusting snowbanks all over Massachusetts-—and this is what they don’t mind us breathing.
It has nothing to do with health-—smoking just BOTHERS some people,so they ban it.
Is there money to inform Tourist and truckers, etc., of counties to AVOID overnighting in?
You don't understand statistical homeopathy. If someone who spends 16 hours a day in a poorly-ventilated room with a dozen smokers gets lung cancer, that suggests that cigarette smoke is somewhat hazardous; if someone who once has sat once within thirty feet of a smoker, but has no other exposure to smoke whatsoever, gets lung cancer, that shows that cigarette smoke is extremely dangerous (so much so that even that tiny exposure could cause cancer).
Bull and I’m not a smoker
“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.”
Considering that the average life expectancy for a female born in 1930 was 63.5 years, and for a female born in 1935 was 65 years, and that his sister was born in 1932, I would say that smoking added 10 years of life to her.
There, how’s that? Do I qualify for a government grant to study the subject?
I’ve never gone to a funeral for anyone who died of “second-hand smoke”. I do not believe I know anyone who has ever been to the funeral of someone who died from “second-hand smoke”.
I have, however, been to the funeral of a non-smoker/non second-hand smoker who was hit by a car while taking her daily jog. Maybe second-hand smoke was in the driver’s eyes...
You probably can, but if the food and drink gets to be the major revenue item, they say you’re a restaurant and your exemption is revoked. Also, believe it or not, some municipalities even ban smoking in tobacco related businesses.
I say bull and I’m an EX smoker (those are the worst about telling everyone else to quit - though I’ve never ventured into quitters’ evangelism myself.)
The concern is that someone, somewhere will die prematurely, a point in one’s life without a clear distinction; for him to use his 75 yr old sister makes me wonder how long he thinks she should have lived.
SIDS simply means an unexpected death from no discernible cause; from emedicehealth.com:
“Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Overview
Sudden infant death syndrome (also known as SIDS) is defined as the sudden death of an infant younger than 1 year. If the child’s death remains unexplained after a formal investigation into the circumstances of the death (including performance of a complete autopsy, examination of the death scene, and review of the clinical history), the death is then attributed to SIDS. Sudden infant death is a tragic event for any parent or caregiver.
SIDS is suspected when a previously healthy infant, usually younger than 6 months, is found dead in bed. In most cases, no sign of distress is identifiable. The baby typically feeds normally prior to being placed in bed to sleep. The infant is then discovered lifeless, without pulse or respiration. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) may be initiated at the scene, but evidence shows a lack of beneficial effect from CPR. The cause of death remains unknown despite a careful review of the medical history, scene investigation, x-rays, and autopsy.
SIDS is rare during the first month of life. Risk peaks in infants aged 2-4 months, and then declines.
About 90% of SIDS deaths occur in infants younger than 6 months.
Even though the specific cause (or causes) of SIDS remains unknown, scientific efforts have eliminated various misleading theories. We now know the following about SIDS:
Apnea (cessation of breathing) of prematurity or apnea of infancy are felt to be clinical conditions that are distinct from SIDS. Infants with apnea may be managed with electronic monitors prescribed by doctors that track heart rate and respiratory activity. Apnea monitors will not prevent SIDS.
SIDS is not predictable or preventable.
Infants may experience episodes termed apparent life-threatening events (ALTEs). These are clinical events in which young infants may experience abrupt changes in breathing, color, or muscle tone. Common causes of ALTEs include respiratory infection, gastroesophageal reflux disease, or seizure. However, no definite scientific evidence links ALTEs as events that may lead to SIDS.
SIDS is not caused by immunizations or bad parenting.
SIDS is not contagious or hereditary.
SIDS is not anyone’s fault.”
Ya wanna blow sumtin' away?
>>If smokers voted in a block they would probably control every local election. This totally puzzles me why they dont do this and simply quietly accept this.
Most people have internalized the demonisation of smokers, including smokers. Many, many agree with the leper status they have in America, and now, increasingly in Europe. And I don’t anyone expected the draconian bans, including nightclubs and bars. After all, restaurants had banned it and bars were the only place left.
I haven’t met many bartenders who like it, but some have.
>>get everyone on the same playing field
Ah, yes, once one town bans, the others use this argument.
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