'I have the right to breathe'

Last updated 05:00 08/08/2013

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My stand on smoking bans

How will smoking bans work? 'I have the right to breathe' Smoking bans are 'discrimination' Smokers, make the right choice Smoking bans 'ridiculousness in the extreme' How I kicked the smoking habit Smoking bans won't stop addicts Smoking ban a 'petty issue' Give up smoking, 'while you can' Smoking 'adversely affects all'

Our readers give their views on smoking bans in New Zealand. Where do you stand on the issue?

I don't smoke and never will. For years, most of my life in fact, I have had to put up with sitting in rooms clouded in tobacco smoke, walking through groups of smokers on my way to and from school and work. I had to put up the teasing from young smokers and the odd older one as I coughed, wheezed and reached for my inhaler.

I am asthmatic and tobacco smoke is one of my triggers.

Until smoking in pubs was banned, I couldn't spend more than half an hour in one. When smoking in the workplace was banned, I finally could take time to eat slowly in the lunch room rather the bolt my food and run if someone lit up.

I am also pleased to note that the gutters of most streets are no longer littered with discarded cigarette butts left to wash into drains and pollute the waterways. I am sure the fish are too.

At long last my right to breathe has been taken seriously. When invited to dinner at a restaurant, I no longer have to worry about whether the table is going to be near the smoking section.

I can have a leisurely morning tea at a café without the taste of the food being seasoned by the reek of a nearby ash tray.

I can even go to a pub without the fear of ending up standing outside in the cold night air (another asthma trigger) sucking on my inhaler and willing the wheezing to stop.

I look forward to a time when there will no longer be clusters of tobacco addicts around doorways of businesses and workplaces polluting the air I breathe.

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