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To the editor:

I have been reading with interest the letters concerning the smoking in restaurants controversy. I am appalled that we have elected such stupid people in our state that they would prefer to have the health of their constituents suffer because they think banning smoking might hurt the tourist business.I recall a conversation I had a year or so ago with a co-worker from Albuquerque. He said they don't allow smoking in restaurants or other public places (such as the airport) in Albuquerque. And no one there seems to complain about it or say the government is trying to regulate a "moral issue." They accept it as the health issue it is.

Here, everyone who isn't Mormon seems to think of "Mormon bashing" as the best sport to be involved with, so they attribute the whole move to ban smoking in restaurants to the Mormons, although I know there are just as many people of other faiths who are non-smokers.

Smoking is a health issue. Smart people, who are concerned about their health, don't smoke. Even smokers who don't care about their own health should have some consideration for others. To say that banning smoking in public places infringes on the rights of smokers is ridiculous. Rights only exist when they don't harm others. Those of us who don't smoke have rights, too.

Sharee Hughes

Salt Lake City