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Loving her Freedom to Breathe

October 4, 2012
Marshall Independent

To the editor:

I am a college student young enough to have never worked in a smoky bar or restaurant. If I ever go someplace where smoking is still allowed, I am amazed that it was once considered the norm to smoke indoors.

According to the Surgeon General, there is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. That is as true now as it was five years ago when Minnesota passed its smoke-free law.

The positive impacts of our smoke-free law are especially obvious if you are a server. Since the law went into effect, exposure of hospitality workers to cancer-causing carcinogens fell by 85 percent, and nicotine exposure decreased by 83 percent. That makes being a server a healthier job choice today. In fact, according to a survey, 79 percent of Minnesotans support Freedom to Breathe and 86 percent believe smoke-free bars and restaurants are healthier for customers and employees.

As a young person in today's economy, I am glad that we have the Freedom to Breathe so that college students like me don't have to jeopardize health in order to earn a living while we go to school.

Jessica Peterson




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