Sunday, July 1, 2007

July 1 - Happy Canada Day

Happy Canada Day!

Despite all our grousing, it’s a pretty darned great place to live. If you’re reading this from another country, come visit us. We’re pretty nice here. J

Smoking is in the news again. Surprise, surprise – second hand smoke is dangerous. Really? Forgive the sarcasm, but do we really need more studies to tell us the obvious?

My father smoked a pipe and cigars. I remember him smoking his pipe in the car, the windows closed. I remember stinking of my mother’s cigarettes and my father’s pipes and cigars. Today, I have asthma. Try telling me that those are likely not related.

I can’t handle cigarette smoke, it sends my lungs into overdrive and I start to cough, a very deep, I can't catch my breath cough. I know that smoking is still a legal activity but the problem is that when a smoker smokes, it affects much more than the smoker.

When my kids were young, we went to DisneyWorld. Standing in line with others, there were always some smokers. There was this gorgeous weather, fun atmosphere, lots of kids, and those darned cigarettes and the smoke heading right for us so many times. When my kids played baseball and soccer, we’d be in the stands watching them, and sure enough, someone downwind would light a cigarette and I’d start coughing.

I understand people my age who are addicted – it’s a tough addiction to break. What I don’t understand is the number of young kids, 12, 13, 14 years old who I see smoking. First of all, here in Quebec, cigarettes are pretty darned expensive now, so where do they get all the money to buy the smokes? And with all the news out there, how can they not know how dangerous it is? I know that teens don’t/can’t look that far in the future, but it just doesn’t make sense? How cool does it look to be huddled outside in minus whatever temperatures in the middle of winter so you can have your puff of smoke?

I’m so torn on this. Since it’s a legal activity, I can’t say I wish everyone would just stop, but it’s so frustrating to go places and have to dodge the smoke. Right now, Quebec law says you can’t smoke within a few metres of a public building entrance. Well, I can assure you that this law is *not* being followed. I was taking a class at a university here and the only door I could use was on St. Catherine Street in downtown Montreal. I would have to take a deep breath before running the gantlet of smokers when I went in and then when I left. They would be leaning up against the doors, even. And that’s the not only place.

It’s not a matter of I don’t want people to smoke. I want them to realize that some of us get truly sick when exposed to their smoke.

Today's News:
Just a bit of smoke dangerous, study says
Rickets still a problem in some parts of Canada
Vitamin waters don't meet daily intake recommendations, experts say


Dawn said...

New Zealand legislated last year to ban smoking in public places. There was a lot of moaning but it's law now and accepted. I don't think we have it that you can't smoke by the entrance yet. That's where everyone goes to smoke and what a mess on the pavement outside bars and clubs in the morning!

I see from your profile that you're a greyhound fan. We have a part-greyhound and he is the fastest dog I've ever seen. Just beautiful to watch running or jumping.

Marijke Vroomen-Durning said...

Hi Dawn,
When my husband and I first got married, we almost went to NZ because they were actively recruiting Canadian nurses to move there. I wonder what life would have handed us had we followed that path.

Here in Quebec, the no smoking by entrances was specifically enacted because of the gauntlet we must run from the street to the building. Some places abide by it, but sadly, most don't seem to.

Yes, I have a greyhound and his name is Oscar. He's just about five years old and you're right. Their is something so special about watching these beautiful animals run. He was bred for racing but didn't make the cut by 0.5 of a second. No matter. He's got a couch of his own now.