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Tony Reinfeld, West Fargo, Published December 09 2012

Letter: ND smoking debate is fueled by anger

Smoking. Even the word brings up anger. Even mentioning it now, some of you can feel your anger rise. There is a division between parties with no middle ground.

There have been several smoking bans in our area over the years. The first one was enacted in 2007, making it illegal to smoke in Fargo buildings, including bars. The thing that got me was the anger behind it. Instead of having an adult discussion and saying, “Hey, no more smoking indoors, but maybe a heated out-building with a vacuum system that employees aren’t allowed to enter. Sound fair?” But no. There was so much anger toward the smoking crowd, I think at one point they were blamed for 9/11.

With the recent vote banning smoking in all places, being a smoker, I was OK with that. I can step outside, even in the winter. But also, a person has to be 20 feet away from a building, so anyone on Broadway wanting to smoke will have to do so in the middle of the street.

It doesn’t stop there. Now, people are trying to eliminate smoking everywhere. People are hoping it will be as illegal as marijuana.

I’m not bitter. I don’t blow smoke in people’s faces. I steer clear of people who aren’t smoking. I keep my distance. I also know how bad it is for me and I don’t care. I enjoy it and have no urge to quit, but I also don’t hand out menthols at playgrounds.

I’m not asking to smoke everywhere … I’m just asking to smoke somewhere.