Letter: Smoker’s rights vs. my health

Please ban smoking downtown in Glenwood Springs. The recent story “Council inclined to limit smoking downtown” left me outraged by Leo McKinney’s statement, “This is a hard one to wrestle with because there is such a thing as a personal freedom that we have to respect.”

As a nonsmoker and severe asthmatic to any kind of smoke, where does my personal freedom start and a smoker’s personal freedom end? Their personal freedom ends when that smoke leaves their mouth and whatever they are smoking.

I spend a lot of time trying to be proactive to any kind of smoke. I spent a lot of money on health care and emergency room visits because of smoke triggering an attack. I take daily medicine and carry emergency inhalers at all times. I ask people politely to not smoke or move away if I can’t. Sometimes that request is respected, many times not at all.

Recently at dinner outside of Smoke downtown, a person was smoking near the railing where I was trying to enjoy dinner. I asked this person to please move away, advised them of the distance required, and this young women flipped me the bird and said “get over it.”

I have experienced health care needs in foreign countries due to being exposed to cigarette smoke and spent part of my vacations indoors. If someone wants to smoke, they need to be responsible to the people and the environment around them. Their smoke carries away from them and invades other people’s space and affects their health.

City of Glenwood, why aren’t you standing up for the nonsmokers’ personal freedom? Smokers can smoke in their cars and in their homes. I would love to hang out more downtown, but the smokers determine my personal freedom of where I am going.

Jacquie Meitler

New Castle

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