Who Is Really Blowing Smoke?

Published February 20, 2007

Dear Editor:

Your editorial Monday (Feb. 19), “Stop Blowing Smoke,” reminded me how close Illinois residents are to giving up the rights we once took for granted. Why? Fear.

With a little help from the media, Illinoisans have become convinced that so much as a whiff of second-hand smoke is a death sentence. So afraid they are now willing to tolerate the government telling us what we can and cannot do inside privately owned buildings like bars and restaurants. We’ve accepted this infringement even though the science is weak.

A very credible study published in 2003 by the British Medical Journal found “the association between smoke and coronary heart disease and lung cancer may be considerably weaker than generally believed.”

Nevertheless, the media continues to propagate fear instead of science.

Ralph W. Conner ([email protected]) is government affairs director for The Heartland Institute.