To the editor:
This letter is in regards to the Journal-World's poll about banning smoking in restaurants between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m. It is way past time to speak out on this issue. Contrary to popular opinion, smokers are NOT second-class citizens!
Smokers have the same rights and privileges as any nonsmoker. Where do people get the idea that just because something may be personally offensive to them that they have the right to impose their will on everyone else? Furthermore, why do politicians feel they have the authority to dictate company policy to a private business man?
Oh, I know about the studies concerning the hazards of second-hand smoke. Show me the documentation where anyone has actually and directly suffered from the effects of second-hand smoke!
OK, maybe you don't like the smell of cigarettes. Maybe I don't like the smell of your perfume or aftershave. Maybe I am offended by the use of cellular telephones at the table next to me when I am eating. Maybe I get annoyed at your screaming child in the booth across the room. Do I have the right to tell you to change your ways? No, I don't -- and neither do you.
I personally gave up the habit two years ago, but I still choose to sit with my friends who do smoke when I am in a restaurant. It has nothing to do with the fact that I am not offended by tobacco smoke, I choose to tolerate others and their habits. Try it sometime. You might find it an easier way to get along with others.