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In 2008, i got a new downstairs neighbor directly below my apartment. During the Fall, I would notice if he was home his patio door would be open and smoke coming from his apartment would be so thick I couldn't stay on my balcony. Once cooler weather came much of the time his apartment was closed. What I didn't realize until much later was the smoke was filtering up into my apartment. For months after my downstairs neighbor moved in I was suffering with painful sinus pressure that developed into a sinus infection and progressed into bronchitis quickly. I suffered for months never being able to get well. At the time I didn't know what was causing my illness. Finally, my sister made me move in with her. I was extremely sick and didn't get well at first, but it did happen slowly. As i was getting well I started noticing I couldn't breath after doing the simplest things. One evening I came home from work and couldn't catch my breath. After four hours, I went to the ER. It was then I was diagnosed with allergies that led to asthma.

I, too, enjoy listening to live music and until Corpus Christi passed their no smoking in restaurants and bars,I couldn't go out anywhere. When a building has one system for hearting and cooling a space you can't just wall off a section and call it divided. The a/c & heating system mixes the air of the two rooms together. The health of patrons should be more important than the patrons who are not allowed to smoke inside. Also, having patrons walking through a cloud of cigarette smoke to get into your establishment isn't welcoming either. So think about where you are building your out-door smoking section. If your city enjoys nice spring and fall weather think about a separate section got non-smokers to enjoy and outdoor meal or coffee without enduring cigarette smoke.
Elizabeth Garrett

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Whatever your experience is with secondhand smoke or the illness related to smoking, we want to hear it and share it with others on our website and in our advocacy efforts to make smoke-free workplaces a reality in Texas.

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