Thanks for not smoking
Jul 19, 2012 | 258 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print

I and my four grandchildren Jordan, Quinton, Eaton and Makayla thank the May family (all eight of them) at Barth’s Restaurant in Kenedy for the new sign and a healthier environment in which to eat your buffet seven days a week. We all choose Sunday as the best with fried chicken and baked turkey.

Since I became involved in the cancer movement, first by knocking on doors in Falls City to captain, then chairman of the board then finally to president of the first Relay for Life in year 2000, I have had the opportunity to read many pamphlets concerning cancer and smoking. Additionally I have been a local sponsor for American Heart Association (AHA) and read their pamphlets on smoking and health disease.

About a year ago, I had the honor of making a presentation before Honorable Karnes County Judge Barbara Shaw and fellow commissioners concerning the effects of Environmental Tobacco Smoke (ETS) or passive/second hand smoke.

The presentation centered around ETS which is more toxic than primary smoke with at least 40 known cancer causing chemical agents and more than 4000 chemicals. ETS causes about 10 times as many cardiovascular deaths than cancer deaths. Tobacco use is a major preventable cause of disease premature deaths about 500,000 a year with direct medical costs of $75 million.

Although tobacco use causes most deaths by lung cancer, about 90%, it also affects the mouth, larynx, pharynx, pancreas, kidney, bladder, colon and other body parts.

A recent university study indicated that smoking and second hand smoke killed more Texans than HIV/AIDS, crack cocaine, heroin, alcohol, crashers, fire, murder and suicide combined. The positive thing is that it is preventable.

According to my knowledge only 2 restaurant in Karnes County allow smoking. At the Relay for Life events I noticed there are luminaries all around the football field - each one representing a cancer survivor or cancer death.

As a county with high cancer rates, let us set a goal that by 2017 all public establishments would be smoke free. This would be very helpful for the employees.

Oh by the way May Family, I like your new floor. Wednesday my grandchild wanted me to play hop-scotch with them. I declined - did not want to be a loser!

P.S. Thank you to The Countywide editor for asking readers to write articles.

Justin Szalwinski, Sr.

A non-smoker

and cancer free
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