Anonymous in North Carolina's Story

Dear Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights,

I am currently a student and have been working full-time nights for the past 8 years to put myself through college. I work at a local hotel. Since I started working at the hotel, they have allowed the employees to smoke behind the desk in a corner. Well I have always done my best to ignore it and say nothing about it because I work at night and I am there alone.

Well it has gotten to the point now, that the employees that work the shift before I do smoke right before I get there. I have frequent migraines and sinus issues from all of the residue that has been left behind from them smoking and often times some residual smoke from them smoking.

There is a window right in that section and I have asked them repeatedly to please not smoke an hour before I am going to get there and to please leave the window open when they do smoke and to open the window up and air out the corner before I get there. Seems like a simple enough request but they simply will not do it.

Finally this week, I have contacted the manager as I am tired of being exposed to and getting sick from someone elses habit. His comments thus far are that it has been going on since the hotel opened. I'm going to talk to him tomorrow to see if we can reach some common ground. The lobby and supposedly the work place is smoke-free.

I don't understand how smoker's expect all accomodations to be made so that they feel comfortable. I am finishing my degree in chemistry with an emphasis in organic/biochemistry and am well aware of the contents and effects of smoking. I liken the experience to me walking in there and releasing a small amount of phosgene gas or spraying potent insecticides in the air. Ohhh I can't do that, probably go to jail for doing that. Neither of those in a small enough quantity would kill anyone but like second hand smoke they would inflict serious damage.

I've only got 5 more months and they can have the place.

As I still need my job for 5 more months please don't attach my name to this letter if it is used.

- Anonymous (North Carolina)