Originally created 08/19/04

Thanks, smokers, but no thanks

Regarding Bob Waters' letter ("Smoking ban infringes on our rights," Aug. 6):

First, the taking of property in the Constitution has to do with the government taking Mr. Waters' home and not giving him just compensation. It's not about smoking.

I agree with him to have the right to smoke in a bar or restaurant. But I don't think he or anyone else has the right to tell the owner how to run his or her business.

If he wants to smoke, go to a place that allows it. I won't go there, myself. If he wants to give himself cancer, among other health problems, that's his right. But I don't want to breathe his secondhand smoke. That's my right.

My grandmother died at age 76 of lung cancer. She never smoked a day in her life, but she was around secondhand smoke all the time. What does that tell you? They put warnings on cigarette packs about the health risks. But people still do it. Does that tell you anything? It should.

So if you want to kill yourself by smoking, go right ahead. But don't take the rest of us with you.

Woodrow Short
Aiken, S.C.


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