By Frank Lewis
It was another great Scioto County Fair. The weather cooperated. The rides ran well. The 4-H kids got to show off their talents, and Joyce and I took in the Demolition Derby. Joyce enjoys it more than I do, but anything we do together is fun, and we had a great time.
I said all that to say this - the second hand smoke was atrocious. It is no wonder Scioto County is 88th in health rankings in Ohio. I think the number of people who smoke is larger than the 36 percent recorded in the statistics.
I stopped into the Southern Ohio Medical Center tent at the fair and saw a jar filled about halfway up with a black substance. It was explained that that much tar is in your lungs if you smoke half a pack a day for a month. Unfortunately most people smoke more than that. In fact, one woman seated next to me smoked that much while the Demolition Derby was going on.
I am wondering now if we need to rethink things and find some designated smoking area maybe out by the back fence that runs parallel to the railroad but nowhere near where the kids are with their animals. They don’t need second hand smoke either.
Tobacco use remains the single largest preventable cause of death and disease in the United States. Cigarette smoking kills more than 480,000 Americans each year, with more than 41,000 of these deaths from exposure to secondhand smoke. In addition, smoking-related illness in the United States costs more than $289 billion a year, including at least $133 billion in direct medical care for adults and $156 billion in lost productivity.
However, people smoking is really none of my business except when I am unwittingly subjected to it. I know there are those who will say, “then don’t go to the Demolition Derby,” and that is an option. I would just rather see some changes made in which non-smokers are not forced to inhale second hand smoke in order to enjoy the entertainment.
The Demolition Derby, especially the third event, was fun. It is great family entertainment, and the Scioto County Fair Board is to be commended for another great year at the fair. It is the most fun anyone can have for $8.
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 1928, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.