Still work to be done to stub out smoking

It seems strange that we still have to talk about smoking. In the last two decades there have been huge changes in what

It seems strange that we still have to talk about smoking.

In the last two decades there have been huge changes in what is considered acceptable when it comes to this expensive and dangerous habit.

Even though it wasn’t so long ago, most of us can hardly imagine a time when people regularly smoked in restaurants. Many didn’t even have smoking and non-smoking sections separated by any kind of divider. If there was a non-smoking and a smoking section you could only tell because some of the tables had ashtrays on them and some of them didn’t. Imagine sitting beside an ashtray now, as you eat out. It’s almost unthinkable.

Folks in the baby boomer generation will remember when people were actually allowed to smoke on airplanes — where all the air is recirculated to the passengers, smoking and not.

Imagine a trans-Atlantic or -Pacific flight where people could light up. Now, it seems archaic that flight crews still remind passengers that there is no smoking on flights, even in the restrooms.

It’s fairly rare now to even come across people puffing as they walk down the sidewalk.

All of these changes are very much positive developments.

Smoking causes cancer and other breathing problems not just in those who indulge in cigarettes and cigars, but in those around them as well.

Which  is why we fully support Our Cowichan Communities Health Network in their bid to address the distressing Cowichan Valley and Lake Cowichan-specific numbers of smokers.

Our Cowichan has gotten a bit of a sluggish response to their efforts thus far. We don’t think it’s that people believe smoking is something good, it’s that it’s a problem that some may think we’ve already conquered. It’s yesterday’s cause célèbre.

But while we’ve come a long way, Cowichan is still lagging.

Our Cowichan’s Cindy Lise dropped some statistics on Lake Cowichan council that are worth noting: “Lung cancer within the Cowichan region, chronic lung disease, is much higher [than the Island average]. Maternal smoking in Lake Cowichan is double.”

The percentage of women who reported smoking during their current pregnancy was 20 per cent — almost twice the island percentage (11 per cent) and more than double the provincial number (eight per cent).

Those are troubling numbers, more than worth our time and effort.

Kids mimic what their parents do. If mom smokes…

Clearly there’s still work to be done.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Cowichan Valley School District is holding an online session to discuss the future of Koksilah Elementary School, closed since 2013. (File photo)
What’s the future of the old Koksilah Elementary School?

The district is hoping to collect feedback on options for the future of the school.

Jim Neiser of Neiser Sales, Service & Rentals Ltd. died suddenly on Jan. 4. after suffering an apparent cardiac event at work. (Submitted photo)
Prominent Lake Cowichan businessman Jim Neiser dead at 63

Lake Cowichan Mayor Bob Day said the long-time laker will be missed.

The Judy Hill Gallery took home top prize for its window display during the Christmas season from the Downtown Duncan BIA. (Submitted photo)
Business notes: Judy Hill Gallery wins festive window display contest

A look at what’s going on in the Cowichan business community

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
Up to 15 cm of snow forecast for Duncan area this weekend

Snow to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

Sorting food to deliver to community members isolating due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Back row from left: Philomena Wilson, Sosefina Aleck, Ethan Wilson and Lucetta Wilson. In front is Kennedy Aleck. (Submitted)
“Let’s share a meal even if I can’t sit with you”: Cowichan woman’s food drive helps feed members in isolation

Positive response to missing ceremonies and rising racism benefits dozens of households

Toronto Public Health nurse Lalaine Agarin sets up for mass vaccination clinic in Toronto, Jan. 17, 2021. B.C. is set to to begin its large-scale immunization program for the general public starting in April. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
B.C.’s COVID-19 mass vaccinations expected to start in April

Clinics to immunize four million people by September

Police are searching for an alleged sex offender, Nicole Edwards, who they say has not returned to her Vancouver halfway house. (Police handout)
Police hunt for woman charged in ‘horrific’ assault who failed to return to Surrey halfway house

Call 911 immediately if you see alleged sex offender Nicole Edwards, police say

A screenshot from a local Instagram account video. The account appeared to be frequented by Mission students, and showed violent videos of students assaulting and bullying other students.
Parents, former students describe ‘culture of bullying’ in Mission school district

Nearly two dozen voices come forward speaking of abuse haunting the hallways in Mission, B.C.

Joe Biden, then the U.S. vice-president, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau take their seats at the start of the First Ministers and National Indigenous Leaders meeting in Ottawa, Friday, Dec. 9, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau, Biden to talk today as death of Keystone XL reverberates in Canada

President Joe Biden opposed the Keystone XL expansion as vice-president under Barack Obama

Prince Edward Island’s provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Friday July 3, 2020. A lozenge plant in Prince Edward Island has laid off 30 workers, citing an “almost non-existent” cold and cough season amid COVID-19 restrictions. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Almost non-existent’ cold and cough season: P.E.I. lozenge plant lays off 30 workers

The apparent drop in winter colds across the country seems to have weakened demand for medicine and natural remedies

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Disgraced Kelowna social worker faces another class-action lawsuit

Zackary Alphonse claims he was not informed of resources available to him upon leaving government care

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

SD62 bus driver Kerry Zado said it’s common to see drivers lose their patience and pass by his bus while he’s picking up students during the morning commute. (Aaron Guillen/News Staff)
Concerned Island school bus driver says people still pass while red lights flashing

All buses in Sooke School District outfitted with stop sign cameras

Most Read