Dear Abby: This is my first letter to you, but your reply to "Secondhand Smoker" really had smoke coming out of my ears!
In his letter, "Secondhand Smoker" stated that he had quit chain-smoking two years before he met his wife. Obviously, she must have been smoking at the time. If her smoking was so offensive to him, why did he marry her? If he didn't tell her before their wedding that he didn't want smoking in their home, he has no right to change the rules now. After all, he accepted her for better or worse, knowing that she was a smoker.The only real option he has now is to live with it, or leave. And if he chooses to leave, then she should sue him for everything he has for breach of contract! Sign me . . .
- Smokers Have Rights, Too,
Virginia City, Nev.
Dear Smokers, Etc.: Meet Leland Moody, who backs you up all the way:
Dear Abby: Like you, I have no affection for secondhand smoke. Also, like you, I have no affection for hysterical or deliberate falsehoods, such as the EPA's report that secondhand tobacco smoke is a Class A carcinogen.
In a recent column, Robert Scheer (L.A. Times) describes in chilling detail how the EPA concocted its conclusion.
I'm sure you do not want to be a party to this deception, especially since so many people seek your advice on such matters. The truth is, secondhand smoke may be a public nuisance, but it is hardly a deadly killer.
Quoting Scheer, "One can make the case for smoke-free public spaces on the basis of civility alone, without piling on the false guilt about killing people with secondhand smoke."
My point is that each individual must deal with this annoyance on his own terms, but not on the basis that secondhand smoke is a lethal threat. To do otherwise is to be at least ignorant of the facts, if not deliberately dishonest.
- Leland Moody,
a nonsmoker in Nipomo, Calif.
Dear Abby: About that man who complained because his wife was a chain-smoker, my question: Did he know while dating his wife 16 years ago that she was a smoker? If so, why did he marry her if smoke bothered him?
He reminds me of the man who built his house beside the railroad tracks, then complained because the train went by and blew its whistle; or the man who built his house next to the city dump, then groused about the stink.
- M.P. in Virginia
Dear Abby: My sister is getting married in August. As maid of honor, I'm hosting a shower for her.
I had planned on asking each person who will be invited to bring a dish of her choice (or even something specific) and making the shower "potluck." But my mother doesn't like the idea. She says it would be in poor taste.
What do you think?
- Cindy in West Allis, Wis.
Dear Cindy: Local customs may vary, but I'll cast my vote with your mother. If your budget is tight, give the shower in the mid-afternoon - and serve tea, sandwiches, an assortment of cookies and cake. Perhaps your mother would assist you in some of the preparations. A shower requires guests to bring a gift for the bride (or couple), but to ask guests to provide refreshments is too much!
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