Letter to the Editor: W.Va. second in smoking-related diseases

To the Editor, 

I write to you as citizen of West Virginia concerned about the public health of all West Virginians.  I have lived in West Virginia all of my 66 years.  I am proud of West Virginia for many things, but I am not proud of the fact that West Virginia has the 2nd highest death rate from smoking-related diseases. 

I want to share a story about my dad.  My dad was a veteran.  He served during World War II.  He died of lung cancer 24 years ago at the age of 68.  He had been a smoker but managed to quit when he was 44. He realized nearly 50 years ago that smoking was harmful to his health!  After he quit, he no longer frequented fraternal organizations because he could not tolerate being around smokers.  He missed the social time with his friends at these places but his health was more important. His freedom to breathe clean air had been taken away by those veterans who continued to smoke in these fraternal organizations. 

By allowing exemptions for smoke-free laws, workers and patrons will once again be exposed to the deadly chemicals found in secondhand smoke.   Smoke-free laws protect everyone’s right to breathe smoke-free air and provide a supportive environment for those smokers who are trying to quit.

We simply cannot afford this setback in our efforts to reduce exposure to secondhand smoke and to reduce the number of individuals using tobacco.

Our elected delegates have the power to do what is right to protect everyone’s right to breathe smoke-free air and to do what is right for West Virginia and public health by voting NO on SB-109.


Linda Myers-Hart
111 Donald Drive
Charles Town, WV 25414
ACS CAN Volunteer

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