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Once again the country folk are fired up to emulate the trends of the tree-hugging fruits and nuts of California. The poor bar patrons who are there with the intention of drinking large quantities of toxic alcoholic beverages hoping to have unprotected sex must be protected from the evils of secondary tobacco smoke at the expense of the restaurant and bar owners individual rights.

I hope that the majority of local residents have the intelligence and courage to resist this effort to erode the personal freedom of these independent business owners. Those bar owners who wish to provide smoke-free environments for the pristine lungs of the more sensitive patrons may exercise that right. Those who wish to cater to individuals who find pleasure in inhaling toxic fumes, ingesting toxic beverages and satisfying their carnal appetites should also have the freedom to do so.

Mark Twain told the story of the elderly woman who was on her death bed. Her physician said "You must give up alcohol." The lady replied. "I have never touched a drop of liquor in my life." "Then give up smoking" the doctor advised. "But I have never used tobacco" the lady responded. The old lady died. Mark Twain concluded, "If the lady had smoked and drank she could have lived another 20 years but she had nothing to give up - she had no reserve."

Dr. Doug Bey

Normal

The writer is past president of: McLean County Medical Society, McLean County Board of Health and BroMenn Medical Center medical staff.

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