Pubdate: Wed, 16 Jul 2003
Source: Tampa Tribune (FL)
Copyright: 2003, The Tribune Co.
Note: Limit LTEs to 150 words
Author: John Chase


Joseph H. Brown is on the mark with ``Bars Do Miss Their Smoking
Clientele'' (Commentary, July 12). Almost anyone can identify a
destructive condition and its victims. Secondhand tobacco smoke works
because its victims are innocent bystanders and public health is at

This has happened before. In the two decades leading up to national
prohibition of alcohol, many states and localities had outlawed
alcohol to protect its victims - families, victimized by ``the bad
husband,'' and the moral fabric of the country weakened by saloons. It
was working pretty well until we went too far. We learned that the
drug, alcohol, became more dangerous when we tried for abstinence.

The benefits of reduced tobacco smoke will be partially offset, at
least, by the damage done by the criminal justice system enforcing the
new regulations. This is the nature of antidrug enforcement. The key
is to find the level of enforcement for minimum net damage. I think we
Floridians went too far by approving this initiative.
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MAP posted-by: SHeath(DPFFlorida)