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S. F., MA

I was a smoker for 28 years. I quit on April 23, 2007. It was the best day of my life! (I was an avid member of the American Lung Association message boards—they really helped me through it). I just hope it was soon enough.

I still have trouble breathing sometimes. I also have asthma, which I know is my fault. What is not my fault anymore is the air I now breathe.

It is so difficult to be outside with my kids during the winter months when someone has their fireplace going. I can't breathe that smoky air, so I have to go in the house and watch my kids from the window.

In the summer, I have trouble breathing when backyard fire pits are in use, so I have to stay inside with my windows closed. I can no longer leave my windows open to enjoy nice, cool evenings.

In my town, it's actually against the law to have fire pits, but I don't think anyone enforces it. The only way this will stop is if someone in their family comes down with asthma, and that's the sad part. We need help! We need the EPA and American Lung Association to keep the air clean.

First published: December 16, 2011

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