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Martinez Has 'Missed the Point'

March 08, 1987

Al Martinez completely misses the point of his "skinny vegetarian" who detests the cigar smoke swirling around his head at the restaurant: Tobacco smoke is hazardous to breathe, and one does not have the options of breathing or not breathing.

To speak condescendingly of "a society governed by health laws" and to conclude that a natural progression would be to forbid the eating of red meat because it may offend some is absolute idiocy. If you eat red meat it's not going to affect my cholesterol level. However (and here's the important distinction that Martinez is unwilling to acknowledge), if you sit next to me and smoke cigarettes or cigars, the toxic poisons that go into your body also go into my body. Comprende?

Martinez is obviously an apologist for smokers. I'm just surprised he isn't on the payroll of the tobacco industry--they need more good soldiers like him to do their dirty work.

(If the column was supposed to be comedic and Martinez wasn't serious, perhaps he plans to give us humorous pieces on the Holocaust and child molestation next.)

RON HARDCASTLE

Los Angeles

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