Health is a very important issue to many people. Everywhere you look there are billboards, commerical's, or even television shows that encourage you to get, and most importantly, stay healthy and fit. Now, you may exercise everyday, eat right, and you may look like a contestant from the "Fitness USA Parent;" but inside, you are most likely just as bad, and if not worse than anyone else. "What could be the cause?" you may ask, and the answer is very simple... it's the terrible effects of smoking. You " re probably thinking to yourself, "But I don't smoke." Unfortunately, second hand smoke is just as bad, if not worse, than first hand smoke.

That is why I truly support the Calgarian bylaw that .".. will ban people under the age of 18 from entering a designated smoking area in a public place, including restaurants... ." (Wilton) The time between being born and 18 years old is a very crucial period of time. For almost everyone, this is the time when your body developed from childhood into adulthood, and if there are any extraneous components that are being forced onto the body, the development of the body will not be to it's fullest potential. Unfortunately, .".. it is estimated that 33% of Canadian children under the age of 12 are regularly exposed to secondhand smoke in their homes, arenas, malls, restaurants and other public places.

Children are particularly vulnerable to secondhand smoke because they breathe faster than adults, inhale more air proportionate to their body mass... ." (Calgary) Averagely, .".. 3300 nonsmokers die each year in Canada from an illness, such as pneumonia, cancer, and heart disease, brought on by tobacco smoke... ." (Calgary) Now, usually, a number of people against such bylaws debate that ventilation systems eliminate most of the harmful particles in the air that can cause such illnesses. Ventilation systems are not capable or removing all of the air pollutants generated by tobacco smoke, and this results in much of secondhand smoke just getting recirculated. ."..

Now taking into mind the current indoor air quality standards, ventilation rates would have to be increased more that a thousand-fold in order to reduce the risks associated with secondhand smoke, but such a ventilation rate is impractical since it would result in a virtual windstorm indoors... ." (Calgary) In fact smoking bans remain the only viable way to protect workers and patrons of the hospitality industry from exposure to the toxic wastes from tobacco combustion. Obviously, tobacco smoke can be very detrimental not only to children, but to everyone else young and old alike. However, smokers don't see it as such. They see it as a hindering upon there right to enjoy the tar that they are sucking into their lungs. However, they don't see that they are forcing everyone else to suck in such tar as well, which puts everyone in danger.

Personally, at times, it feels like non-smokers are in the minority and have no control on what is happening, but in .".. a 2000 survey reported that 81% of Albertans agreed that secondhand smoke is a health concern; 87% agreed that smoke-free indoor air protects the health of nonsmokers; and 74% agreed that there should be more smoke-free public spaces such as restaurants, hotels and sports facilities... ." (Hamilton) So maybe the future of our children is not so uncertain after all. Now, we may still wake up some day and find that our air as been contaminated so much that we doomed to wear gas masks for the rest of our lives...

I suppose we always have the moon. References Calgary Tobacco Reduction Action Coalition (C trac). Smoke-Free Calgary Bylaw Campaign... "Hamilton-Wentworth Health Survey Second-hand Smoke and Municipal Smoking By law Descriptive Report." 31 May 2001...

Wilton, Suzan e. "New Alderman Plans to Touch Off Smoking Debate." Calgary Herald 03 November 2001.