Clear The Air At Riverbend - And Response (2)

Friday, March 7, 2014

Good for CVS Caremark!  They will stop selling the #1 preventable cause of death: cigarettes.

It’s a smart move.  Smoking is in great decline.  The risks of exposure to second hand smoke (yes, even outdoors) are known.  Every exposure causes some harm.  But changing community “norms” is difficult.   

Isn’t it time for corporate sponsors of Riverbend, and health-concerned Board members to speak up and make the festival healthier for non-smoking attendees, 80 percent of total?    Officials have been saying “we’re ahead” and “making progress” while little has changed.

Limiting smoking to designated areas away from the public is not too much to ask of smokers.  (This is already required at all kinds of events.)  Area health organizations have worked for years with organizers receiving promises of progress but minimal positive action.    It took notice from the Tennessee Attorney General to stop tobacco product samples from being distributed at Riverbend, several years ago.  

Tobacco smoke prevents some with disabilities from even attending.  For them, breathing smoke can create a medical emergency.   (There are over 4,000 chemicals and products of combustion in this mix.) 

Festival goers, let decision-makers know how you feel about “clearing the air” at Riverbend.  It’s just the right thing to do.  

Kevin Lusk
Chair
Tobacco Free Chattanooga

* * *

I personally believe the entire county should go smoke free.  Since this is only my opinion and there will be millions who disagree; I just wanted to throw it out there that if we want to be healthy as a county then pass an ordinance making all public spaces and buildings smoke free to include restaurants and bars.

We have found our ability to go out and enjoy an evening, dancing and such has been severely curtailed because within 10 minutes of being at a place like the “The Palms” your entire evening is spent soaking up second-hand smoke; your clothes, your hair it all reeks. 

James Macrellis.

* * *

  It's fact, the dangers and stench and deceit the nicotine dealers mass produce legally, thanks to their deep pockets for lobbyists. Our own government ( and I use the word own loosely) have limited cigarette ads and demanded the deadly risk labels. I do have compassion for the addicts but their cancer-causing cloud of death and the horrible smell means nothing to most of them as they light up. 

        It's fact, you got a natural plant described by police officers as "a green plant-like material" that eases or even stops a long list of ailments. But we have folks in jail for months and years because a "Roach" was found in their car. 

        I know it's a complex issue. But as of now, there is lots of room for a better system than what we have now. What we have now is insane.

Mexico has its cartels. USA has its tobacco companies. Meanwhile, cancer patients and many other patients are denied the wonderful benefits of this green plant-like material. Yes, like all things, it is abused. 

       In all my 26 years as a patrolman, I have never had to fight or even argue with a person under the influence of marijuana, never. 

       I don't have the answers. I'm not smart enough, but I do know it's way past time for a major overhaul of these ancient misguided attitudes society and even some police have in regards to the green plant-like materials found in an ashtray or sprinkled on the floorboard of a car. Personally when I would find such, I had them witness me just destroying it after their consent, which was never a problem. 

       Meanwhile, we're paying for heart, throat and lung cancers. Asking for a non-smoking hotel room. Not buying a car because it reeks of stale cigarette smoke or has cigarette burns throughout the interior. How about the employers having employees leave the buildings or even the grounds to take their hit of nicotine?

       There is not one single advantage the cigarette provides. It's poison plain and simple and it also poisons those around the user. Yet look at the billions of dollars the dealers are making and it's all legal. The dealers even have added chemicals to increase your addiction to their product so they can sell you more. 

       How corrupt are we. 

Michael Burns


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