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Stomp Out Rudeness, Not Smokers

<i> June Cerza Kolf lives in Quartz Hill. She serves on the board of directors of the American Cancer Society in Lancaster</i>

In recent years, smokers have become second-class citizens. Smoking sections in restaurants, bars and in airplanes have disappeared, and smokers are relegated to special rooms in hotels and motels.

Nobody is sympathetic about the inconvenience this causes smokers, simply brushing it off as the price they must pay for having an unpleasant habit.

I do not smoke, but I am married to a smoker; therefore, I suffer the same discomforts. Yes, my husband smokes, but he is not a despicable person.

Each time a new smoking law is passed, it affects my life as well. The days of having a relaxing cup of tea in a restaurant after a meal are gone. Also gone are the days of being able to stay in a nice, clean-smelling hotel room.

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I realize this is the price I pay for living with and loving someone who smokes.

At home, my husband smokes in the garage to avoid subjecting his loved ones to secondhand smoke. He never smokes in anyone else’s house or car. He is as thoughtful a smoker as possible. But we cannot always stay at home.

Most smokers are aware of the public’s opinion and are usually quite thoughtful. Why can’t others be thoughtful of them? And what about spouses like me? Must I be made uncomfortable simply because I love a smoker?

I propose we eliminate rudeness, which is really behind the smoker/nonsmoker conflict. I’m more tired of people pushing in front of me to get ahead in line. I’ve had enough of aggressive drivers. I do not like hearing foul language in movie lines and grocery stores.

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Let’s unite against all rudeness and not single out smokers.


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