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Support smoking ban

Letter to the Editor | Friday, September 16, 2005

I am responding to the Viewpoint column from Sept. 13, “The New Bigotry” by Ian Ronderos. I attended the public hearing for the smoking ban on Sept. 6, and I listened to every supporting and opposing argument presented that evening. As an aspiring lawyer, I concentrated as hard as possible to see whether I could make a case for either side.

I concluded that I could not, because this is how I see it: the fact is that smoking has a ripple effect. No, not everyone who walks into a smoking environment comes out with cancer or the like. But one has to consider the fact that some unfortunate individuals indeed do come out sick. And what about those who acquire a disease and have never smoked in their entire life?

As for the notion that the ban is treading on our freedom, please consider the liberty of being able to breathe clean air. Doesn’t every person have this right, this freedom? This ban serves to protect the common good; it was by no means established to hinder our freedom.

Lastly, I wish to comment on the criticisms that have been directed at Gina Firth, the director of the Office of Alcohol and Drug Education (OADE). I don’t understand how Gina could be condemned in the least for promoting a cleaner and healthier St. Joseph County. I, for one, am grateful that she sent out the e-mail to the student body regarding the public hearing. She provided all of us with the opportunity to make a difference, to let the powers that be hear what we have to say. I believe that Gina’s e-mail demonstrated how active the OADE is for the students; it makes their presence known and more real.

I ask you all to consider, in Gina Firth’s position as the director of the OADE, how could she not promote the supporting of the ban?

Sheremy CabrerasophomoreCavanaugh Hall Sept. 14