So Tobacco's Not Addictive? Readers Reply to Industry

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

May 15, 1994

Liars. . . . These arrogant, while-collar criminals who keep trying to sell us their lies, who tell us we will not be hurt, by the cyanide, the arsenic or the other 24 Class A carcinogens they lace their products with. These products that lead to emphysema, lung cancer and other respiratory problems.

"As addictive as Twinkies," said RJ Reynolds Co. Chairman and Chief Executive Officer James Johnston before Congress; perjury does not get much clearer than this. They why does my mother get distressed, or my dad get irritable, when the nic fit hits, and they cannot have their fix of nicotine? Why does one of my friends dig through trash bags to find some butts to stop his cravings? It is a bullet aimed at the heart, drilling about a pTC millimeter a day. . . .

Douglas Coyner

Bel Air

. . . If cigarettes are no more addictive than Twinkies, as the executives say, then I put out a challenge to a tobacco company: Take out an ad in a national paper with a list of the ingredients in cigarettes, including the class-A carcinogens and nicotine, then

ask the public to decide which is more addictive. I am confident that cigarettes will win.

Craig D. Story

Fallston

If smoking isn't addictive then I'm a Twinkie. The seven major tobacco companies of the United States say that they are "unconvinced" that smoking cigarettes is addictive as well as a health hazard. Someone had better convince these men quickly because people are dying. . . .

When a person is sick with an ailment such as the cold or the flu, it is proper for him to stay out of public places such as school or work until he has recovered. This helps prevent other people from becoming sick. People are more concerned about giving their loved ones a cold than giving them lung cancer.

I just don't understand why it is felt that smoking in a public place should be a person's right. If I wanted to inhale second-hand smoke, I would ask.

For years, the American public has been blatantly manipulated by the tobacco industry. Smoking has been portrayed as "cool." Well, it's not, it's deadly. And if you believe otherwise, you must be as disillusioned as those men who run the tobacco industry.

Stephanie Williams

Forest Hill

. . . The cigarette company executives deny adding nicotine to cigarettes to make people become more addicted. One of the executives said, "We don't do anything to hook smokers or keep them hooked." Then why they have refused to turn over their reports of cigarette ingredients?

Smoking causes 5,000 new cases of cancer every year in Maryland, and the cigarette companies are not required to show us what is inside a cigarette? There are more than 7,000 chemicals added to a cigarette and there are known to be 43 Class-A carcinogens in them. Yet it is not a requirement to know what else is in them? Americans have a right to know what is going in their bodies by smoking or by inhaling second-hand smoke.

Kate Larkin

Baldwin

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