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Tobacco Bill and Teen Smoking

June 28, 1998

A reply to the bleeding-heart Democrats concerning the death of the tobacco bill and the doom it will cast on our children (letters, June 23): All you concerned people who think that a tax increase will stop kids from smoking are completely out in left field. I get so angry when I hear President Clinton preach that the Republicans are killing our kids. In the last five years drug use among high school students has increased 38%.

If the Clinton administration wanted to protect children, it would do something about the war on drugs. I have never seen a child die from smoking a cigarette, but I have seen one die from drug use. Yes, I lost my daughter. If we had a better-informed president, maybe my child would be alive today.

FRANK RAINIS, Whittier

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Since the vast majority of teens in the U.S. do not smoke, don't people who used to smoke or never smoked get any affirmation?

I don't think the work of families (parents, grandparents, older siblings, aunts, uncles, etc.), schools, doctors and others in the medical profession, political anti-smoking groups and state governments, etc. should be ignored or discounted.

Since we all know that people under 18 are the future of the tobacco industry in the U.S., I hope we can continue to discourage teen smoking and teen access to tobacco products. Businesses that have been warned, fined and continue to sell illegally should have their tobacco-selling licenses removed.

ETELVINA R. PATMAS, Mission Viejo

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Arizona Sen. John McCain, as the co-author of both the campaign reform and the tobacco bills, must be highly frustrated by the assassins in his own Republican Party; they shot down his uncountable hours of hard work.

LEN ZIRALDO, Los Angeles

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