Pubdate: Sun, 21 Dec 1997
Source: San Francisco Chronicle (CA)
Author: Joel W. Johnson

I whole-heartedly agree with Bob Herbert's column, "Siccing Cops
on Teen Smokers Is Gross Overkill" (Chronicle, December 12).

I think it is ludicrous that we are diverting our police efforts
to curb teen smoking - not only will it not work, but it violates
our function of police enforcement "to serve and protect."

So how can we be so foolish as to do thisto our youth? How can we
treat them more like criminals than people who are our future?
Education, understanding and love are of utmost importance for
our future, not enforcement of rules that parents are too lazy or
powerless to do themselves!

Further, this kind of education is completely ass-backwards.
Teens are naturally rebellious. How do you think they react to
this kind of nonsense? They light-up and laugh!

If police were to hand teens flyers with information on where
they could find help to quit, then we would be served. And who
knows, that kind of compassion might have a slightly positive result!
But we absolutely cannot abuse our youth, for love can only be
shown by love, not force.

Joel W. Johnson