Tobacco tax will keep kids from smokingIn these last few...


March 28, 1997

Tobacco tax will keep kids from smoking

In these last few weeks of the General Assembly, we urge citizens to support a significant tobacco tax increase.

The American Lung Association of Maryland, along with a great number of health organizations, children's advocacy groups and legislators, supports an increase as a way to protect the public health, particularly the health of our children.

As referenced in a Sun editorial (Feb. 23), for every 10 percent increase in the cost of tobacco products there is up to a 14 percent decrease in teen-age smoking. Tobacco taxes prevent kids from starting to smoke. Tobacco taxes save lives.

Polls show that more than 70 percent of Marylanders, even those who smoke, support a significant increase in the tobacco tax. The General Assembly should not to dodge this opportunity to prevent kids from smoking.

` William L. Follett


The writer is president of the American Lung Association of Maryland.

Gastronom sign means supermarket

In a recent story of English words creeping into Moscow shop signs, you pointed out that the Russian word for supermarket was gastronom. "You don't see any Russian signs in Switzerland or the United States . . . ," protests Svetlana Korolyova, "so should there be English signs in Russia?"

She must not be familiar with Reisterstown Road. I recently bought an interesting pastry at a shop called (in Cyrillic) "Gastronom."

Will Werley


Confederate Sons offended by column

As past commander of the Maryland Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, I was very offended by Andrew Ratner's March 15 column, ''Confederate Sons of Howard Stern,'' in which he makes an analogy between this crude, vulgar, shock jock and my heritage organization.

This type of careless and pejorative rhetoric has been all too prevalent during the recent debate over the right of the Sons of Confederate Veterans to participate, like any other legitimate non-profit organization, in the Maryland logo license tag program.

This column, and the numerous derisive comments by self-serving politicians who claim they are offended by our logo, raises the question: Why is it never considered that we are offended when our Confederate ancestors are continually and unjustly referred to as racists, traitors, Nazis, etc.?

It seems to me that if we are truly a multicultural and diverse society, then those who demand respect for their heritage must learn to give the same to others.

# G. Elliott Cummings


Litterbugs hurt Maryland's soul

Moving to Maryland last year, one of the first things we noticed was the amount of litter alongside the roadways.

We often wondered what type of person would try and destroy such beautiful areas that are found all over Maryland. Two weeks ago, on a lovely Sunday afternoon, we saw some of these people.

Waiting for the traffic light at the corner of Joppa Road and Goucher Boulevard, we were behind a small, white car. All of a sudden the window on the passenger side opened and what was left of the occupants' lunch was heaved out -- paper bags, juice cups and tray.

We were stunned, to say the least. Violence hurts the body; litter hurts the soul.

John J. Fallon


Ali documentary appreciated more

I am writing in response to the March 14 article by Sun movie critic Stephen Hunter, "When he was the greatest," about the production of the Muhammad Ali movie, "When We Were Kings."

The documentary covers his 1974 heavyweight championship bout against George Foreman in Zaire. I think this project was long overdue, but because it took so long I think it will be appreciated more. I'm thrilled that such a great event in this great man's life has finally been documented.

Eric Myers


Stephen Hunter writes of the Oscar telecast that "[Muhammad] Ali, tragically, seemed not quite to know where he was."

NTC Mr. Ali suffers from Parkinson's disease, one symptom of which is a "mask-like, expressionless face." I didn't have to go any further than Webster's for that information.

How sad that Mr. Ali, who fought his whole life against racial prejudice, must now live with another prejudice as well -- that Parkinson's is mistaken for mental incompetence.

Mike Willis


Pub Date: 3/28/97

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