Archive for Thursday, May 13, 2004

Healthy scene

May 13, 2004

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To the editor:

I have read with some interest the various comments regarding the smoking ban in Lawrence. I have a personal interest in the issue for several reasons: I am a cancer survivor of more than eight years, I lost my father to cigarette-induced lung cancer more than 12 years ago, and I work as a musician in bars and taverns directly affected by the ban.

To those still complaining about the "hardships" this ban should supposedly create, I would like to offer the following: Get over it. Cancer is infinitely more inconvenient than anything else I've seen offered for discussion regarding this subject. First-hand anecdotes are available upon request.

Nicotine is an addictive drug. Cigarettes are nicotine-delivery devices. Cigarette smoke causes cancer, whether it is your own or somebody else's. To me, the debate is about whether a drug addict has the right to administer his fix in a public place where it may potentially endanger others. I feel that they don't and fully support ANY ban on smoking in public places.

I look forward to a day when I can sing at The Jazzhaus, The Granada or The Bottleneck and not return home with a parched throat from the smoke. I also look forward to a time in which other cities follow the positive example of Lawrence, Kan.

As long as the nicotine addicts around here can get past their own selfishness, the music scene in this town should remain vibrant and healthy -- even healthier without all the smoke.

Darrell Lea,

Lawrence

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