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Two Views on Smoking in Public Places

* I am a sixth-grade student who wishes to graduate from high school in the year 2000 in a smoke-free environment. On behalf of our class and all kids, I would like to express my concern about the quality of the air we breath. We’re depending on you to care and help spread the message that we need to start clearing the air.

As you know, we have tobacco product vending machines that are accessible in many public places! The poisonous gases from smoking surrounding us contribute to air pollution. When people go to restaurants or any public place where smoking is allowed, they’re getting harmful carbon dioxide in their lungs. This is because these gases are enclosed and, in a crowd, people inhale smoke faster. We can stop these problems by eliminating these machines and prohibiting smoking in public areas.

If these problems continue, today’s children will become tomorrow’s unhealthy adults. I’m fully aware we cannot change the whole world’s air pollution problems, but we should at least start somewhere and the sooner the better. Why don’t we start with our city and right now. So please adopt these ideas and give some needed TLC to the air and people.

SARAH STEFANOS

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La Palma

* Just as nonsmokers feel entitled to clean air, smokers feel they should be able to enjoy a smoke in a public restaurant.

The solution is extremely simple: proper ventilation.

At present, I eat in a restaurant where the smoking section has such pure air that it is often occupied by nonsmokers who want to avoid noisy children in the “family” nonsmoking section.

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Let’s not allow hysteria over tobacco to overwhelm us. There is room for smokers and nonsmokers in this world.

R.M. WOLFF

Newport Beach


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