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More Ire About Smoke

February 07, 1988

Regarding the Jan. 14 story, "Where There's Smoke, There's Ire: After Years on the Defensive, Smokers Fight Back":

The group People United for Friendly Smoking, or PUFS, was said to be "fighting against the kind of closed-mindedness that alienates friends of long standing because one or the other becomes a strident nonsmoker."

I was wondering what sort of closed-mindedness PUFS was referring to. Is it closed-minded for nonsmokers to insist that they shouldn't have to breathe second-hand smoke, now that it is known that it is an important cause of lung cancer? PUFS states: "We don't want to be shoved into closets." However, the alternative, allowing smoking in public places, endangers nonsmokers. It is better that smokers are "shoved into closets" than have nonsmokers shoved into hospitals.

When people try to persuade other people to use deadly substances, we usually try to put them in jail. When smokers try to force nonsmokers to use a deadly substance, we must be careful, according to PUFS, not to be "closed-minded."

KENNETH SANDLE

Santa Barbara

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