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While agreeing, in principle, with the fact that people should be free to make their own choices and to run their businesses the way they want, it is unfortunately true that people, when left to their own devices, do not always make the right choices.

For example, it was shown as early as 1843 by Oliver Wendell Holmes that there was a direct correlation between the spread of infection, during surgery and in childbirth, and the washing of hands. However, many doctors of the time chose to disregard the evidence and continued to operate on several patients one after the other without washing their hands between times, thus transferring infection from one patient to another.

In 1910, 70 years later, the debate still raged. In New York, 30 physicians sent a letter to the mayor protesting new requirements for cleanliness stating, "It was ruining medical practice by keeping babies well"! Even in today's "enlightened" generation, there are those who use the bathroom and then fail to wash their hands before handling other items. Some of those people even work in the food industry.

It is a proven fact, other than for those who continue to bury their heads in the sand, that secondhand smoke both causes disease, and aggravates existing conditions. Unfortunately, even with the evidence that is readily available there are still those, like the doctors of old, who will not voluntarily do the "right thing."

Smoke-free indoors is the way to go - not only in Bloomington and Normal, but statewide.

Tony Mettrick

LeRoy

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