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Making the State Smoke-Free

A large minority in this country, and particularly in this state, is being trampled, abused and made to feel it has no rights. The sanctimonious anti-smoking crusaders are acting as if they are on a mission from God and the end justifies any means.

Many official policies call for accommodation of both sides. But practice gives us no-smoking offices, malls and airplanes whether there is a problem or not without even considering improving inadequate ventilation or other practical compromises. Some places are even banning outdoor smoking.

When the movement started with no-smoking sections in restaurants and moved to no-smoking areas in other places to protect nonsmokers, smokers felt that was only fair. But the anti-smoking jihad has gone far beyond concern for nonsmokers to pure harassment of smokers for its own sake.

It is one thing for them to promote a smoke-free society. It is another for them to use strong-arm legal tactics to force their will on everyone. With the news in recent years on the effects of coffee, eating habits and many other lifestyle factors on health, everyone should be worried about Big Brothers on the march. They are never satisfied.

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TOM ERSKINE

Port Hueneme


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