Saturday, January 2, 2010

North Carolina Catches Up

In a move I thought I would never live to see, North Carolina has banned smoking in public eateries and bars.
WOW. I mean, WOW!!!
North Carolina is a lovely state. My stepdad lives there, my younger brother and sister, most of Mr. R's family, and many friends. I love to visit. The mountainous areas of Asheville are breathtaking. I spent a summer as a 12 year old in the area of Cullowhee and fell in love with the laid back way of life, the fresh mountain air, and the forests. It is truly a beautiful place.
But ugh! Going anywhere in North Carolina seems to be a trap for being stuck in a smoker's circle. I am not a smoker. I dabbled in it a bit in high school but never really understood the attraction. Everyone in my husband's family smokes. When I was eighteen, I watched my grandmother die a horrifyingly painful death of emphysema. She missed my wedding, she missed her first great-grandchildren being born, all due to cigarettes. It smells awful, it makes your eyes water, and causes cancer and emphysema. I'm not sure why people willingly stick this crap in their bodies!
That being said, I am not anti-smoking. If you want to smoke, by all means. Go for it. Smoke in your car, smoke in your house. But quit forcing other people to breathe your addiction! I am sick of having to take a deep breath before I walk into a store because there is a cloud of smoke by the front doors. I'm sick of going to the beach and stepping on cigarette butts. I hate that I can't allow my children to spend the night with their Granny (Mr. R's mom) because they get an upper respiratory infection every time and end up missing school.
So thank you, North Carolina. Thank you for remembering that, according this Yahoo article, 79% of North Carolina doesn't smoke. That children have the right to eat at the Cracker Barrel or McDonalds or wherever, without having to chance an asthma attack. You rock, North Carolina. Carry on.

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