As a thirty-something single woman living in downtown Oak Park, I want to add my full support to the effort to make Oak Park public places smoke-free. I will absolutely continue to shop and dine in the downtown Oak Park businesses if they become smoke-free, as will many other residents in my building.
Whether a smoker or nonsmoker, downtown residents are not going to give up the great amenities of downtown living and drive to another city that isn't nearly as charming as Oak Park. In fact, I'll be able to frequent restaurants that I've largely avoided simply because they were too smoky. What a bonus it would be to not smell like an ashtray when I get home!
As a family physician, I know first-hand how secondhand smoke affects nonsmokers. It triggers asthma attacks and increases the risk of respiratory tract infections to children who are exposed. The data is indisputable that long term secondhand smoke exposure increases one's risk of cardiovascular and lung disease.
Every person who works and lives in our great village deserves and needs to be protected. Pass the clean indoor air ordinance. We'll all breathe easier.