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Civil Rites

November 05, 1995

Regarding "Uncivil Liberties" (On the Town, by Patt Morrison, Sept. 17): I was outdoors waiting for ground transportation at LAX when a man nearby started to light a cigarette.

"Please sir," I begged, "I have asthma. Please don't light that cigarette." He looked at me and put the cigarette away. His bus pulled up before I could say thank you.

Again, while leaving the post office, I noticed a woman puffing a cigarette coming through the doors. "Stop," I shouted. "Smoking is not permitted in here."

"Oh," she said pleasantly. "I didn't know that." She extinguished her newly lit cigarette on the sidewalk and upon entering, smiled and said, "Thank you very much."

I smiled back, utterly astonished at the total civility of the experience.

Esther Schiller

Newbury Park

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