Kathryn's Story

Dear Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights,

I am in my mid 70's. Everyone smoked either cigarettes, cigars or pipes when I was young. My dad smoked pipes and cigars all day long, inside and outdoors. One was burning all the time even when he wasn't puffing on it. Our house smelled like smoke - and our car smelled like smoke. People's clothes smelled like smoke - even the ones who didn't smoke smelled like smoke. People smoked at work and in restaurants and in the waiting rooms of almost everywhere. So it was normal to smell smoke. We thought nothing of it. We even sang the popular song:

"SMOKE SMOKE SMOKE THAT CIGARETTE - PUFF PUFF PUFF UNTIL YOU PUFF YOURSELF TO DEATH. THEN TELL PETER AT THE GOLDEN GATE THAT HE WILL HAVE TO WAIT - CAUSE YOU GOTTA HAVE ANOTHER CIGARETTE."

And it still didn't dawn on us what we were doing.

Smoking was thought to be glamorous for women and masculine for men because of the movies and the advertising. Free cigarettes were given out to all college students and OKed by the universities.

All my older siblings smoked. What happened to everyone?

My dad died of a heart attack. My mother died of lung cancer (tho she never smoked anything.) My brother died of a heart attack. My sister died of lung disease. My last sister has emphasima & is on oxygen but wasting away - now weighs 65 pounds.

I would have to say smoking leads to nothing constructive for anyone except for a pain relief puff on a marajuana when dying of cancer.

My dying sister told me the other day that smoking is the worst possible addiction anyone could imagine. She says you are hooked almost instantly and not any rational discussion could make you quit. She only quit when she couldn't breath. But she said she knows of lots of people who can't even quit when the doctor puts them on oxygen.

There is no rational reason to allow smoking where anyone other than smokers will breathe that smoke. I would suggest all people take advantage of getting to know people who are dying of lung disease. It is horrible. I have been with 2 of my relatives as they have died of lung disease and it is a miserable way to go.

- Kathryn (Nevada)