Volume 90, Issue 97

Thursday, March 27, 1997



Smoking - a bad habit indeed

Re: Smokers – weak willed?, March 21

To the Editor:

When I started to read the article by John Heder I was happy to learn that another person shared my feelings towards smoking. However, by the time I got to the sentence where he states that smokers are "feeble-willed addicts. . . trying frantically to satiate a hunger for acceptance and belonging," I was ready to light up myself just to spite him.

The ideas he presents are good ones; in many ways he is right. Smoking does harm those of us who don't smoke, even more than smokers themselves. People who smoke should respect the personal rights of non-smokers since there is often no alternative choice for us. However, I don't feel that urinating in their drinks or "a good harsh bash in the head" is the way to make our point.

The most effective way to change someone's opinion on a subject is to make them listen and understand your point of view. Most smokers that I know, after hysterically laughing at the article, put down the paper and didn't give the article a second thought. John didn't have a chance to express his opinions. Truthfully, he didn't deserve one. To attack people in such a rude manner, as well as insult characteristics that have absolutely nothing to do with smoking, makes one look ignorant. Also, not all smokers choose to be health hazards but if they are, I have found that a polite request to put it out often works.

So, in regards to the appeal to all of Western's non-smokers, I doubt that many of us will follow in your footsteps. Perhaps a little more understanding on the part of non-smokers will allow smokers to see our side more clearly. No violent or rude behaviour, just ask nicely. Seems like common sense to me.

Shannon Thomson
Sociology I

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Copyright The Gazette 1997