Inhale. Exhale. While the decision to smoke may be a personal choice, the effects of lighting up is anything but. It’s a public discussion being had in Columbus and across the state. In a new report from the American Lung Association, the state of Georgia lags significantly behind the rest of the country in reducing tobacco use-fueling health concerns for smokers and non-smokers alike.
“We know that it’s the third leading cause of lung cancer…exposure to second-hand smoke,” says June Deen, Vice President of Public Policy and Health Promotions at The American Lung Association.
And it’s not only public policy and health experts like Deen who are concerned. Columbus mother, Analiza Pamintuan-Khalil also shares Deen’s concerns.
“The second-hand smoke is very dangerous for other people, especially for children. Sometimes we see drivers that smoke and sometimes we’re side by side…on stop sign with them and all the smoke goes into your car, and I have two children. So we just have to kinda stay cognizant of our surroundings.”
Could we be approaching a smoke-free Columbus in the near future? That is up for debate. Deen says there are things you can do to move the discussion forward.
“We certainly do need to speak out and we need to be talking to our elected officials and our state representatives,” says Deen.