April 07, 2020

I’m sitting here in shock on hearing what Eastern Maine Medical Center and St. Joseph Hospital want to do about forcing people who are hospitalized for treatment, people who are visitors and the working personnel who are employed by these establishments, not to smoke.

I consider myself as having an addictive personality. The day I married my wife, I made a promise that I would stop smoking because her first husband had died from a lung disease which in part was caused by smoking.

We were married in 1987 and I threw away three packs a day. When I started smoking at the age of 16 in 1960 there was not any medical information at the time. I probably wouldn’t have listened to it anyway.

Stopping smoking was the hardest thing I ever did. It became a nightmare the first few days. I had a prescription for a chewing gum. After just about chewing my tongue and the inside of my mouth to bits, I finally had to make up my mind to do it for myself and not anyone else. It became easier, but I still have my moments. I don’t think it is right to have to breathe secondhand smoke; it is cruel.

When I was smoking, I apologize to all those people I was around for having to breathe all that secondhand smoke. I do not, however, think it is right to force people to do something so suddenly as this, seeing there are already rooms and smoking areas set aside for this purpose on the hospital grounds. First thing you know, some of these people who don’t like drinking will force prohibition. Jerry P. Townsend Dexter

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