To the editor:
Congratulations to Chuck Magerl and his fellow public-spirited Lawrence bar and restaurant owners who recently testified in Topeka against a proposed statewide ban on smoking in public places. They evidently are convinced that in a true democracy, lung cancer should be shared by all and not limited to just the some 20 percent who actually do smoke.
It would indeed be a sad day for Kansas if it joined in the smoking bans now in effect in such places as New York City, 21 U.S. states and even in whole countries such as France. After all, tobacco kills only about 5 million people worldwide each year, only about twice the population of Kansas.
Altruistically, the supposed economic benefits of smoking would not be limited to just this small group of benevolent Lawrence businesspeople. Smoking provides jobs for doctors - especially heart and lung specialists - nurses, hospital orderlies, ambulance drivers, pharmacists, funeral directors, undertakers, embalmers, tombstone carvers and, last but not least, grave diggers. Grave diggers have spouses and children to support too! Smoking is advantageous even for veterinarians because second-hand smoke reportedly affects dogs and cats as well, even though it appears this benefit has not yet been extended to goldfish.
In conclusion, we must remember that health is of no importance; only money counts!