Smoking and breathing

This is an archived article that was published on in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

What would your reaction be if we returned to the days when smoking was permitted in restaurants and public places? Probably to choose not to frequent those places to avoid the lifespan-shortening effects of breathing secondhand smoke.

That scenario won't happen; we're smarter than that now and have laws restricting such threats to our health.

But it is no surprise to anyone that our air quality during inevitable inversions poses what doctors say is a health emergency that is shortening our lives. Unless you leave the region, it is inescapable. Unlike smoking, breathing is not a choice.

If the Utah Legislature and Gov. Gary Herbert do not act quickly to enact measures to reduce pollution and improve air quality, we can expect:

1. Good-hearted citizens handing out face masks to people (including tourists) at malls, the airport, Temple Square and elsewhere (just like Beijing).

2. YouTube videoclips of Utah's horrendous air going viral on the Internet.

Do we want this? Legislators, Gov. Herbert: Please act now!

Al Forsyth