I am a manager at a local restaurant and lounge that allows smoking and am aware that secondhand smoke may someday cause me serious health issues. I have never smoked a cigarette; therefore, if I do develop any smoking-related health problems, I can only presume my condition to be the direct result of breathing secondhand smoke.

I am not in a position to quit my job, so the argument that it is "my choice" to work in an environment that allows smoking is not valid. You could say that I had the choice when I first applied for the job, but back then I was unaware of the harmful effects of secondhand smoke. For instance, by working at a restaurant that allows smoking, I increase my risk of developing heart disease by 30 percent and lung cancer by 25 percent.

Smokers will smoke, but they should step outside to do so. Their choice should not affect my employees, patrons or my health. I support the Smokefree Natrona County campaign and look forward to working in a healthier, smoke-free environment.


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