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Will 'Whoopi' Keep Secondhand Effects Behind a Smoke Screen?

August 17, 2003

As someone who is asthmatic and smoke sensitive, I want to know how the new "Whoopi" show is going to portray the "realistic" consequences of exposing people to secondhand smoke ("Whoopi Ignites Furor," Aug. 4).

Are the producers going to show someone with asthma going to the emergency room after exposure to Whoopi's smoke?

Are the producers going to show someone with emphysema on oxygen, sitting in a chair because he or she is too exhausted to walk from being exposed to Whoopi's smoke?

Are the producers going to show someone who has heart disease and that person's heart beating faster or skipping a beat when he or she is exposed to Whoopi's smoke?

I am pretty sure that all across America the day after her show airs, smokers will be harassing people who have asthma and other chronic lung diseases by exposing them to secondhand smoke because they saw Whoopi wisecracking about how she doesn't care if she hurts someone else with her smoke. How are the producers going to portray those "realistic" consequences?

Vivian G. Dietemann

St. Louis

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In her new sitcom, Whoopi Goldberg responds to the comment "You know, secondhand smoke kills" with "So do I." It's hard for me to find that funny in light of the fact that my mother is battling lung cancer as a result of the secondhand smoke she breathed during almost 25 years of marriage to my father, a heavy smoker.

I invite Ms. Goldberg to accompany us on almost weekly visits to the pulmonary unit of the local hospital for a procedure that drains the fluid accumulation that causes my mother to be short of breath.

I used to have tremendous respect for Ms. Goldberg and how she seemed to fight for the rights of the downtrodden. That respect is gone. All I see now is secondhand smoke blown from a secondhand comedian.

Donald A. Bentley

La Puente

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Though I wholeheartedly agree with keeping smoking out of the media, I'm not too concerned about Whoopi Goldberg's lighting up on her new show. Judging by the promos I've seen, the show should be off the air a few weeks after it debuts.

Rich Rudy

San Diego

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