Pubdate: Sat, 06 Aug 2016
Source: Washington Post (DC)
Copyright: 2016 The Washington Post Company
Author: John O' Hara


Although I agree that heroin addiction is a tragic and growing 
problem in our country, I was appalled by the casual treatment given 
to tobacco addiction. Although Amanda Wendler was depicted as smoking 
cigarettes throughout the article, her act of smoking was never 
referred to as an addiction, only as a crutch to help her avoid heroin use.

The article stated that 350 people start using heroin every day. In 
contrast, the surgeon general estimates that more than 2,500 kids try 
their first cigarette each day and there are more than 42 million 
addicted smokers in the United States. There are almost 500,000 
deaths each year from tobacco use - more than from alcohol, car 
accidents, illegal drugs, murders, suicides and AIDS combined.

I find it interesting that when dealers of illegal drugs are 
apprehended, they generally are sent to prison, whereas the tobacco 
industry purveys its addictive product with impunity.

John O' Hara, Bowie The writer is president of the Maryland Group 
Against Smoker's Pollution.
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