Andrew popik

Government should butt in on smoking for citizens’ health


Dear Editor,

In response to the Feb. 18 editorial, “Smoking ban snuffs out bar owners’ rights,” I disagree. The editorial board tried to make the case that this is a rights issue and not a health issue. Smoking ordinances make good health sense and good dollars and cents.

As the board points out, “Over 50,000 people a year die from secondhand smoke in the United States …” Actually, the number is 53,000 — like on the orange “stand” bracelets. Service workers exposed to secondhand smoke in the workplace are particularly at risk, being 34 percent more likely to develop lung cancer.

As the board also states, smoking and related diseases affect health care costs. Ohio pays approximately $3.41 billion a year in smoking-related health care costs.

Finally, they invite the 70 percent of Kent State students who prefer to socialize in a smoke-free environment to “put their money where their mouth is” and not patronize establishments allowing smoking. Unfortunately for this majority of students, according to the board, there are no places to go in Kent.

The board cites Toledo’s ordinance and says it was “horrible” for bars in Toledo. A study done by the University of Toledo and the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio found that the clean indoor air ordinance in Toledo has not negatively affected businesses in the city. The study also looked at surrounding suburbs and found business had remained the same.

In fact, studies have shown that when clean indoor air ordinances are passed, bar and restaurant business is not negatively impacted. Business has increased for many bars and restaurants once they go smoke free.

“The government needs to stop making choices that are not its to make,” writes the board. Actually, it is the responsibility of government to maintain the health and welfare of its citizens. With what we know about the hazards of secondhand smoke, I say thank you to Kent City Council for their leadership in addressing this issue.

That’s the American way.

Aaron W. Bohannon

Coordinator, Portage County Tobacco Prevention Coalition


Student offers the rules of music listening while attending Kent State


Dear Editor,

Since the beginning of time, mankind has been plagued with music. Wars have been fought over it, babies have been sacrificed and scabies outbreaks have occurred in First Year Experience. It is time we took steps to ensure that no more senseless deaths will occur because of this audio phenomenon.

1) Anyone who states that they “understand Linkin Park’s lyrics on so many different levels” should be shot. No questions will be asked.

2) Elitists should be shipped to Rhode Island because no one really cares about that state anyway.

3) Marijuana should remain illegal, not because I believe it is morally wrong, but so I don’t have to listen to Phish any more than I already have to.

4) The next person to say the phrase “Yeah, but their old album is better” gets kicked in the dangly parts. I’m not even kidding.

5) Song lyrics in an away message are limited to four lines. Honestly, most people won’t bother to read it anyway.

6) Dave Matthews is hereby declared mediocre. If you think differently, you are wrong and need to reconsider your direction in life.

7) I’m sorry you’re an art major. I still will never like Radiohead.

Hopefully these basic guidelines will be adopted by the interhall council within the week. With these laws in effect, we should enjoy a time of peace, prosperity and democracy, very similar to the new government of Iraq. Not counting, of course, the car bombings, massive poverty and the lack of electricity.

Brian Samsen

Freshman sociology major