As one who has never smoked and never will, I've been too silent too long. The letter in The Times by Guy Smith IV of Philip Morris USA (Dec. 20) finally pushed me over the edge.
You want a second opinion, Mr. Smith? OK, here it is!
Your own media family can tell you that First Amendment rights must be mitigated by concern for the safety of the majority. Shouting "Fire" in a crowded theater is child's play compared to the damage done by cigarettes in this country.
You are a man who represents a company that is responsible for dispensing death and debilitating disease to hundreds of thousands of Americans, both those who use your product and those, like, me, who do not, and you compare yourself and your company to the likes of Thomas Paine, Thomas Jefferson, Susan B. Anthony and Martin Luther King! Your rhetoric is nearly as disgusting as the products you sell.
There is no doubt as to the horrible effects of smoking on the human body. The only unknowns are the additional negative effects that we are discovering nearly every day. There are no positive and you know it, despite the pleas from your public relations department.