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Consider the rights of smokers, other dangers

Letter to the editor

Posted: Sunday, January 04, 2004

Where will the line be drawn concerning our "freedoms?" Each day there are new laws telling us what we can or cannot do!

Smokers have been put out in the cold. We are all too aware of non-smokers' rights. There are a great deal of smokers that have opted to have smoke-free homes to protect children, and I applaud them for their concern and consideration. But what happens when you can't go into a bar to enjoy adult company, a beverage and a cigarette? Perhaps a rise in house parties? Smokers have been put outside enough. They can't enjoy a leisurely cigarette at bingo, where there are only adults - adults who can choose whether or not to enter.

As for banning cigarette smoke, a health threat, I believe alcohol to be a more prevalent threat to others' health. Statistics show that a large percentage of violent crimes are committed by people under the influence of alcohol.

I see the use of bicycles on our roads as a threat to others' health. Ban bicycles. What about carbon monoxide? Ban cars, too!

Where do our freedoms begin and where do our freedoms end? Who decides? We are "grown-ups" and, as such, we have the freedom to choose whether or not to got into a business place, which should also have the freedom to choose whether or not to allow smoking in their establishment.

As stated in a previous letter, there are already non-smoking establishments that these people can go to. As one of the highest tax-paying groups - if our governor gets away with the $1 per-pack tax on cigarettes - smokers should at least be able to smoke in an environment, free of children, where "grown-ups" have the choice to frequent or not.

Drena Austin

Juneau



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