Monday, August 16, 2010

Email to Councillors

Here is a great letter from a Smoke Free Indy supporter that was sent to councillors last week.

Dear Councilmember,

I am writing to request that you please take into consideration a bill to make all workplaces in Indianapolis smoke-free, including bars and restaurants. As an individual who has lost dozens of family members to lung cancer from cigarette smoking (both from smoking and from being around smokers), I can tell you that this is a very personal issue for me. My grandmother died from emphysema as did several of her brothers. My partner's grandmother and grandfather both died from second hand smoke induced lung cancer.

This year, I met the father that I had never known after 33 years. He smoked for many years until the legs in his arteries clogged. He quit smoking and after his arterial replacement, he had a hernia. His business went under b/c it was shipped to China and he was told that in order to work the only job he could find in his small town of Delphi (a $9/hr job on a hog farm) he had to have hernia surgery. He did so and his arteries collapsed, he had his legs amputated then later died on the operating table. Smoking took away someone I had spent my entire life searching for. It took away my father and my grandmother, both of whom I never had the opportunity to get to know as well as I would have liked, both of whom were incredibly dear to me.

Times are hard right now and people often take any job that they can find, including working as bartenders and waitresses. Why should those people be forced to inhale copious amounts of cigarette smoke simply because they need to pay the bills and feed their children? Why should people who WANT to spend money at bars with their friends be forced to inhale second-hand smoke?

The bottom line is this: When an action you participate in has the potential to harm others, it must stop. Smoking is not a human right, protecting citizens from second-hand smoke should be.

Please, let's get with the program. Step up your focus on encouraging healthy behavior in your citizens. What good is encouraging healthy living and eating if you're not supporting putting an end to cigarette smoke exposure? I refuse to attend smoking bars, as do dozens of people I know because of their own hereditary propensities for getting lung cancer or due to asthma. Show us that your seat on the city council is to protect your citizens' best interests. If this is not your priority, please step down and allow someone else the opportunity to do so.

Thank you!

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