ANR UPDATE, 32(2), Summer 2013

We asked. You answered!

We asked readers to share why they became interested in the smokefree air movement. Here are some of the many replies we received. We hope to post many more of your responses on our website in the coming months!

I began flying in 1967, when smokers had their "rights" and the rest of us thought we had to put up with it. When the "no smoking" sign went off on a flight, you couldn't see from the back of the plane to the front. It was that dense. Most flight attendants suffered constant problems - sinusitis, bronchitis, burning eyes, even discolored teeth and hair. Later, we got worse problems…we were non-smokers, coming down with smoker's lung cancer, emphysema, chronic bronchitis, allergies and more. ANR, you were always there for us … I and so many others will be forever grateful to you and also very proud of your continued excellent progress towards protecting all nonsmokers in America - in workplaces, restaurants and elsewhere. Thank you! ~Lani B.

ANR, my father smoked cigars until his heart attack. He smoked in the house all during my childhood. He did not believe in the secondhand smoke theory. I loved my father but hated his smoking. I joined ANR because I am concerned for my health, and continue my membership in honor of my father. He was a good man with a bad habit. Proud to have been his daughter." ~Rachael A. (CA)

I first joined ANR when you were CNR and we didn't have the internet. It was wonderful finding an organization that understood the health consequences of secondhand smoke and the need to protect people from having to breathe toxins in restaurants and the workplace. I had to quit jobs because I could not tolerate the smoke. Without the internet, we all felt alone and CNR made me realize that I was not fighting smoking alone. You folks had my back. We have come a long way. Thank you for always being there. ~Cynthia S. (CA)

I am one of the original airline passengers who wrote to the airline presidents and other execs asking them to discontinue allowing some passengers to smoke at the great disservice to the majority of passengers who were nonsmokers. The Swiss Air president wrote me a terse letter saying he had to respect the rights of all!! But we won!!!! ~Charles V. (CO)

My dad died of emphysema. It robbed him of his retirement, as he was chained to oxygen for almost a decade. He picked up the habit during WWII when drafted as an 18-year-old, and the U.S. Army pushed it on its soldiers. He quit the day he went on oxygen, but sadly too late. As each family member has died from a certain illness, I have looked for a charity that could have helped. This is for my dad. ~Cheri F. (WA)

In the early 1980's I traveled frequently back and forth from Los Angeles to Seattle. I was a member of the American Airlines Admirals Club. It was so smoky in there! I and my co-workers who traveled with me organized a petition to American to ask them to make it no-smoking. It worked! That was one of my first no-smoking requests. I've made many more since then. ~Nicola N. (UT)

My husband became a smoker when he received cigarettes in care packages during his imprisonment during WWII in a Japanese prison camp. He was told that it would assuage his appetite while he was starving. When he returned home he became a doctor and an avid nonsmoking advocate very active in the nonsmoking movement until his death in 2007. ~Jean K. (OR)

In 1973, when I was being treated for cancer, there were no restrictions on smoking in movie theaters. I remember especially a man lighting a cigarette behind me during a movie. I asked him politely to put it out. He refused; I asked him again. Again he refused. Furious, I yelled, "Put that cigarette out! I have cancer and you're killing me!" [T]he exchange inspired me to join GASP (Group Against Smoking Pollution), the forebear of ANR. ~Ann C.

I have lived in two apartments where smoking has been permitted. It's a terrible thing to live with and it's wrong that nonsmokers have to inhale such hazardous and dangerous chemicals. I wish Illinois would make ALL apartments smokefree. Thank you. ~Lynne B. (IL)

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