I have chronic lung disease from cystic fibrosis, and I think there is
a common misconception that secondhand smoke is only a problem inside.
As anyone with lung disease will tell you, being outside is not a guarantee
that people in a crowd don't inhale secondhand smoke.
On July 24, I tried to attend the vigil for all of the innocent people
being killed and injured in the current bloody war between Israel and
Hezbollah. I say tried because someone was smoking and no matter where
I positioned myself away from this person, the breeze carried the smoke
my way. Of course, I could have traveled away from the group entirely,
but then I really wouldn't have been a part of the group standing in solidarity
for nonviolence. I ended up leaving shortly after arriving, terribly frustrated.
I don't think the person was smoking selfishly. I think smokers and nonsmokers
alike think that smoking outside is permissible and harmless.
If you smoke, please take this to heart and refrain from smoking outside
when peace vigils and demonstrations are taking place, even if you think
no one is affected. We'll all benefit.
Thank you for your consideration.