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November 15, 2007

Hey musicians - smoking ban in Alberta!

This is great news for musicians - no more toxic gigs from Jan 1, 2008. I have no anger or hatred against people who smoke; it's their own choice. However, I do mind going to play a gig at a bar where the smoke is thick like London fog. Why should I have to risk my health? The only choice I have is to either play the gig or not. I often find myself hoping it will be a warm night so they will open more windows. More fresh air for me.

As musicians playing in bars, we have had to put with the smoke and the health hazards that come with the job. Soon we won't have to, and I am very proud to be an Albertan today. This has been long overdue, though.

So what's the real problem - I am just whining fool? There are numerous studies that show the health risks related with second-hand smoke. I just read this article which shows that non-smokers can absorb a major cancer-causing carcinogens immediately.

In Canada, the Government reports "More than 45,000 people in Canada will die this year from all tobacco-related diseases and many of these deaths will be caused by lung cancer. Although other factors can cause lung cancer, smoking is responsible for 85% of all new cases." and they also mention that "Tobacco smoke contains at least 50 known cancer-causing agents.". Second-hand smoke is no joke. From the same source - "This year in Canada, more than 300 non-smokers and an estimated 13,000 smokers will die from lung cancer caused by tobacco smoke."

If you live in a place where there's no smokin ban in sight and you are worried about the dangers of second hand smoke - stand up and fight! Raise your voice, talk to others, sign a petition, do what you can. If enough people speak up loud enough, things can happen.

Finally, here is some more tobacco information from the World Lung Foundation - "Tobacco kills 4.9 million people every year, and the number of people smoking in the developing world tripled from 1970 to 2000." Now that's seems like we could do a lot better than this.

Have you played at these foggy bars and clubs, where your clothes and hair stink so much that you need to shower before going to bed? Where your significant other goes "phew". Where your guitar gear smells like smoke and ash for what seems like a very long time? What's your thoughts on this whole topic?

I'll stop ranting now. :)

Read more about the Alberta Smoking Ban:

By Robert Renman - www.dolphinstreet.com

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Posted by Robert Renman on November 15, 2007

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