I am a student and non-smoker who has been following the debate over the smoking ordinance. This is of particular interest to me, as I also have asthma, a condition aggravated by secondhand smoke.
I just finished reading a letter in the Jan. 30 Pantagraph, "Don't Forget the Rights of Smokers in Public." Smokers' rights? What about the rights of nonsmokers? What about my right to breathe comfortably or to enjoy a meal without a cloud of smoke hanging over my head?
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As far as I'm concerned, one's individual rights end where they begin to infringe upon someone else's. Thus, a smoker's right to light up in public should extend only so far as they aren't endangering anyone else. I am not suggesting a smokers' right to smoke be taken away; it is their prerogative to live how they choose. However, we must also keep in mind a nonsmoker's rights to clean air and a healthy lifestyle, and not infringe upon those rights in the process.