News: RI Discrimination

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Rhode Island This smoker remembers freedom of choice

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April 9, 2005

I would like to pursue a discrimination suit against the State of Rhode Island on behalf of myself and all smokers.

Discrimination is defined as a law, rule or practice that treats groups of people differently when no reasonable difference can be found between those groups. Unreasonable differences include race, religion, sex, age and nationality. In the banning of smoking in all but a few establishments, our right to choose and the business owner’s right to choose are being trodden on by the government.

One reason given for the smoking ban is the impact of secondhand smoke on non-smokers; I am unaware of any scientific studies supporting this conclusion. The 1993 Environmental Protection Agency report used to back up this assertation is greatly suspect; North Carolina Federal District Court Judge William Osteen ruled to invalidate the very foundation of the report, and a 1995 Congressional Research Service analysis had serious reservations about the EPA report.

Another reason given for the smoking ban is to protect workers, specifically bartenders and waitstaff. First I would like to point out that many of these people are smokers themselves. Secondly, exposure to secondhand smoke is an accepted condition of the job. What would happen if someone took a job at a chemical laboratory and then complained about exposure to potentially harmful chemicals?

There are now seven states discriminating against smokers; this is not just a local issue but one that will soon affect our entire country. I was raised to believe that the United States was founded on a belief in freedom of choice, so I can only wonder what other choices our government will be making for me.

One more thing: If secondhand smoke is so harmful, how come parents who smoke are not prosecuted for child abuse?

PAUL F. MALO Jr.
Coventry

http://www.projo.com/


Help The Veterans

My husband is a world war 11 veteran who went to fight for this country when he was 18 years old.? He is now 81 years old who has had colon cancer and other medical problems including mobility.

His one enjoyment in life was to go to the American Legion and have his beer and cigarette to watch the Red Sox or Patriots games.? He enjoyed being with the other veterans who have fought for the freedoms of this country. I would like to know who is going to fight for their freedoms?? Thanks to Mr. Brooks of Pocasso’s Pizza in Warwick that can no longer be.? The extension was until October 2006 which for some of these veterans that was plenty long enough given their age and health.

They fought to preserve the freedoms of this country.? My husband’s limited mobility makes it very difficult for him to go outside to smoke.?? This is a terrible way to treat our vets when they are in the downside of life they have so few enjoyments left.? Think about our young men over in Iraq losing life and limb and cannot come home to a veterans organization to relax.

I do not wish these legislators and Mr. Brooks ill luck or health but I wish them a long life without the freedom to do what they enjoy.

Margaret
Cranston, RI

(c) Copyright 2005 The Smoker’s Club, Inc. Please repost with link back to this original article.

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