Monday, September 1, 2003

Second-Hand Smoke

My letter to the Plain Dealer (Written on August 13) was finally published (in edited form) in Saturday's paper. My original text follows.

To the Editor:

Brad Hoffman's letter to the Editor (August 12, re: smoking regulations in public places) misses the point. A society which is both free and orderly runs on the principle that one person's rights end at the other person's nose. Obviously, this principle is beyond the grasp of the pro-smoking activists.

The evidence of the dangers of second-hand smoke is persuasive and growing more conclusive every day. If Mr. Hoffman chooses to ignore it, that is his choice--so long as he doesn't impose his will on those of us who prefer fresh air. His analogy comparing second-hand smoke to watching a diner pour ketchup on scrambled eggs is specious. Mr. Hoffman has the option of closing his eyes to avoid the offensive ketchup spreading. Those trying to avoid second-hand smoke must stop breathing--a far less viable alternative.

Mr. Hoffman's casual branding of anti-smoking regulations as "fascism" is both an insult to the regulations and to history. He has obviously been spending too much time listening to Rush Limbaugh.

As someone who was deluged with second-hand smoke as a child, and whose mother died prematurely due to cigarette smoking, I take personal offense toward those who pooh-pooh the true dangers of cigarettes.

Hank Drake

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