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SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2005
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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Smoke-free dining breath of fresh air

THE DECATUR DAILY:

Congratulations and thanks to the City Council of Athens, as well as a majority of the local restaurants and eateries. The ordinance passed by the Athens City Council that went in effect on Jan. 1 to limit smoking in food and beverage establishments is great.

My wife and I ate at one of your local restaurants a few weeks ago. We noticed that the smoking section had been eliminated. Our server informed us of the new ordinance. I obtained a copy of the ordinance and realized that eateries have three choices: smoke-free, smoke-restricted or totally smoking. The two popular choices are smoke-free and smoking, because the smoke-restricted guidelines are difficult to adhere to. I understand that a majority of your food establishments chose smoke-free. I hope other municipalities, as well as workplaces, will designate their facilities as smoke-free.

Common tobacco smoke contains thousands of chemicals. More than 200 of these chemicals are poisonous. Fifty of those chemicals are known carcinogens (chemicals that cause cancer). Smoke-free food establishments and workplaces would be a step in the right direction to help control rising insurance costs. We have all heard it before: lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, difficulty in breathing, premature aging of the skin, and the list goes on. Environmental tobacco smoke, which is excess smoke from burning tobacco and exhaled smoke, causes the deaths of approximately 53,000 Americans each year.

A report on TV recently claimed that, in his last days, Johnny Carson made reference to "those damn cigarettes." Congratulations again, Athens, for reducing the health hazard created by secondhand smoke and improving the indoor environment and enjoyment of public places.

Jimmy A. Reed

Hartselle

Retaliates for lack of trash collection

THE DECATUR DAILY:

"Lawrence garbage delinquency rates have nearly tripled."

I do not see the need for their complaining on this side. I paid for garbage collection via Joe Wheeler Electric Membership Corp. for almost nine years where no truck ever showed up to collect. I did not hear County Commissioner Bradley Cross complaining they were receiving money for not collecting my garbage. And even now, I must continually call them to pick up my garbage. Otherwise, they conveniently forget.

So, since I did not hear a complaint for all those years I paid them for not picking up my garbage, why should they now complain because some people have not paid for them picking up their garbage?

I am still trying to recover from all those years of accumulated cans and trash.

Jim Stover

Hillsboro

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