Rallying for a smokefree Augusta - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Rallying for a smokefree Augusta

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A night filled with music and entertainment, all to support one cause.

"My vocal chords now are just about shot, due to the smoke," said Tony Howard, entertainer.

He has been performing in smoky clubs for 30 years, and said it has just about ruined the gift he used to have. Now, the BreathEasy Augusta campaign wants to make sure that never happens to anyone else.

"It's been a passion of mine for a long time," explained Lisa Hill. "When I moved here four years ago, I was shocked it wasn't already law."

She's talking about the fact that while smoking is illegal is restaurants, it's still legal in bars that only allow adults in.

"Even those of us who have never smoked are now dying from the same diseases smokers are dying from," said another entertainer.

Experts say there is some truth to that statement; the US Surgeon General says there is no safe level of exposure to cigarette smoke, and non-smokers working or living around that can develop diseases like lung cancer and emphysema.

"What's most disturbing to me is I don't have any rights, and my family doesn't have any rights, we eat right, we exercise right, and we don't smoke," said Hill. "And we don't have the right to not smoke."

Many have spoken out on Facebook against the cause, saying they want businesses to decide, rather than by city ordinance. 

"As a non-smoker, I want my right to my own clean air and my choice to not breathe your smoke," begged Hill. "And please be respectful of that, that's all we're asking."

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