Times have changed and we know more about smoke now
Re: “Whining about woodsmoke in the Cowichan Valley makes no sense”, (Citizen, Oct. 4)
My father died 33 years ago from the drugs to treat side effects of his COPD. I, too, have COPD. I can’t express how much I regret having smoked (I quit about 23 years ago) and I have no one to blame but myself.
Nonetheless, I read Mr. Lundgren’s comments in today’s issue of the CV Citizen with interest. We all share the air, and wood smoke has been linked to lung cancer in humans (1) and a variety of lung ailments such as mine. When I was an infant and child, 60 to 70 years ago, we didn’t realize that exposure to wood or tobacco smoke might pave the path to addiction or the harm that such smokes could cause to humans. It is difficult to blame those who knew no better in the past. The information simply wasn’t available and/or persuasive at that time.
Today, on the other hand, we are better informed. We know the harm that such smoke can cause to nearby innocent children and adults. It makes sense to protect them from harmful smoke. That knowledge is one reason we have seen a rapid decline in smoking rates and increasing restrictions on wood burning. It is much more convenient to assemble a burn pile and light it up than it is to dispose of waste in more environmentally concerned ways. To that end, I applaud Shirley Crosson’s efforts and would ask that Mr. Lundgren consider the importance of protecting innocent people from hazards we were less aware of 30 years ago.
1. Delgado J, Martinez LM, Sánchez TT, Ramirez A, Iturria C, González-Avila G.Lung cancer pathogenesis associated with wood smoke exposure. Chest. 2005 Jul;128(1):124-31.