No, I was simply eating my dinner when a gentleman at the table
next to us decided to light up a cigarette. The smoke went right into my
face and lungs. All of a sudden I couldn't breathe, my chest hurt and I
Ladies and gentlemen, by the end of this year more people
will die from second hand smoke related deaths than the average crowd at
a Major League Baseball game. Secondhand, or passive smoke, is an
insidious killer that is harming adults, and more critically, children
around the country every day.
My goal in speaking to you today is to enlist your support
in a federal ban of all smoking from all public places without
But isn't this America? Shouldn't I have the right to
smoke? If I want to pollute my lungs and ruin my health, why should that
be any concern of yours?
The facts are that secondhand smoke is responsible for many
of the same diseases as if the sufferers had smoked the cigarettes
themselves. These diseases include cardiovascular diseases, lung cancer,
and respiratory diseases.
For example, the International Agency on Research on Cancer
found that “involuntary smoking is carcinogenic to humans." Various
studies in the United States, Australia, and the United Kingdom point to
a significant increase in risk of lung cancer among those exposed to
The California Environmental Protection Agency found that
passive smoking increases the risk of breast cancer in young women by
70%. In a separate paper, the US Surgeon General found that there was
evidence that suggested that there was a causal relationship between
smoking and breast cancer.
Secondhand smoke is even associated with the loss of hearing in non-smoking adults.
What? What did you say?