The Daily Gamecock

Letter to the Editor: Eating fried fish not equivalent to smoking

This is a response to Friday’s article written by Ross Abbott.

The article was trying to compare secondhand smoke to the smell of fried fish. I’m writing to say that his argument contains the straw man fallacy, which is misrepresenting an argument in order to make it easier to attack.

There is a tremendous difference between the health effects of secondhand smoke and the smell of fried fish. Eating fried fish is not a healthy action for the person consuming it, but consuming fried fish around others does not have any scientifically documented negative health impact on others around.

Smoking tobacco does have documented negative health impact on those around the smoker through secondhand smoke. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, “There is no risk-free level of contact with secondhand smoke,” even brief exposure can be harmful to health. People exposed to second smoke are not exposed to inconvenience but rather increased health risks such as heart disease and lung cancer.

If anyone chooses to smoke, they have the right to expose themselves to those harmful health effects. As for non-smokers, I think they have the right not to be exposed to the harmful effects of tobacco through secondhand smoke, because they choose to avoid tobacco products.

I ask that Mr. Abbott re-evaluate his argument and that next time, he present scientific research on how the smell of fried fish could harm students as secondhand smoke does.

— Bradley S. Pierce, second-year public health and exercise science student