Monday, January 5, 2009

Third-Hand Smoke: Protect the Children!

By Tony Mazur

We've all heard the hazards of second-hand smoke. From what we have been fed for the past twenty years, passive smoke is just as harmful to one's body as actually smoking tobacco. While studies have found no significant evidence that second-hand smoke causes lung cancer, the media would like to make us think that. But the newest media sensation will hope to instill fear in millions of ill-informed Americans: Third-hand smoke.

According to doctors from MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston, third-hand smoke can pose risks to children and infants from the carcinogens and metals that float in the air following a smoker's tobacco stick. The study claims that the smoke lingers and latches on to hair, carpets, and furniture, and can really affect young children who crawl on the floor.

This is another fear-mongering attempt by the media to make us ashamed of our upbringing. They have continuously made the past three generations feel guilty about how they were raised, and it has caused nationwide resentment to their parents and grandparents. It's the media's agenda to make our lives miserable.

I am not a smoker. I do enjoy the occasional cigar, but cigarettes are not my thing. However, tobacco, as far as I'm concerned, is still legal in the U.S. of A. Stories like these are intended to make smokers Enemy Number One. While all cigarette advertising has been fazed out in our society, it doesn't stop beer conglomerates from advertising their product, even though everyone knows the short-term and long-term effects of alcohol.

There are other issues special interest groups should tackle in this country, such as obesity. It's discussed, but that doesn't stop parents from feeding their fat kids cheeseburgers and fries. While I despise Subway and other "healthy food" establishments, people need to realize that eating several small meals and exercising will do wonders for a person's body. But remember, it's all on you.

I am not a self-appointed spokesman for good health, but I do know what's good and what's bad. You have the right to whatever you please to and with your body. No one should force you to stop whatever it is you're doing unless it is seriously affecting others, such as heavy drinking and drug use. But don't let others, such as the media, tell you what's right or wrong. It's up to you to choose if you are helping or harming yourself.

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