Pubdate: Wed, 09 Aug 2006
Source: Villager, The (New York, NY)
Contact:  2006  Community Media LLC
Author: Kirk Muse


To The Editor: Re "Fatal heroin overdoses claim two lives in one 
week" (news article, July 26):

I'd like to ask: Why do heroin and other illegal-drug deaths often 
make the front page, while deaths caused by tobacco rarely get 
mentioned even in the obituary notices?

Our annual tobacco-versus-all-illegal-drugs-combined kill ratio is 
about 23.5 to 1 (400,000 versus 17,000).

And the vast majority of our 17,000 deaths from illegal drugs are 
because the drugs are illegal. Because certain (politically selected) 
drugs like heroin are illegal, they are of unknown quality, unknown 
purity and unknown potency -- just like alcohol was when it was illegal.

Kirk Muse
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