Volume 90, Issue 97

Thursday, March 27, 1997



Non-smokers calm down!

Re: Smokers – weak willed?, March 21

To the Editor:

I agree with John Heder that smoking is a bad habit and threatens people's health, but I do not share his rather extreme hostility towards smokers. I sincerely hope for John's sake that he was completely kidding when he encouraged non-smokers to be rude and uncivil to smokers. I personally wish there was no smoking too, but that doesn't mean I'm about to raise arms about it. What John and others like him fail (or refuse) to realize is that, like alcoholism, smoking is an addiction, one that is hard to break for some. That is, after all, what the Surgeon General's warning tells us.

Looking at it from this view, it would be fair to say that anyone who starts smoking in this day and age is making a stupid mistake, but those who are currently full-fledged smokers are doing it out of addiction, not necessarily out of choice or for the evil intent of poisoning everyone. I think that if you surveyed smokers today, you'd find most of them would admit that starting smoking was one of the dumbest things they ever did.

Sure, smoking is bad for us, but so is the exhaust from cars. Does this mean that non-drivers should sit on an overpass over the 401 and start defecating on unsuspecting drivers below? It's hypocritical to make accusations when we all pollute the air in some way.

Perhaps I'm biased because I have a couple of friends and a sister (who I regularly tease about quitting) who smoke. Well, even if that wasn't the case, I still wouldn't have the attitude expressed in John's letter. Call it being polite and civil, or maybe just sane. At any rate, I suggest that John calm down a bit and be more careful how he acts. Needless to say, there's no way in hell I'd let the like of him get anywhere near the smokers I care about.

Jeffrey Goddard
Biology III

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Copyright The Gazette 1997