Reading Dean Hinton’s story about smoke-free legislation in this week’s paper (“Puff, Puff, Pass,” March 23) reminded me of a trip I made to Nashville with my family two years ago. Our most anticipated entertainment venue was the renowned Wildhorse Saloon. My wife and I took our two teenage daughters there to hear a couple of their favorite country stars perform.
While the stars lived up to their billing, the atmosphere didn’t. The saloon was so choked with billowing secondhand tobacco smoke that anyone with healthy lungs immediately felt what it was like to have the lungs of a smoker...hack, hack, hack.
It was particularly distressing to me, as I was one of the key people who helped make California our nation’s first state completely smoke-free in restaurants, bars and all workplaces. I have since formed the nonprofit Kids Involuntarily Inhaling Secondhand Smoke (KIISS, www.kiiss.org
) to educate restaurateurs and bar owners in other states on doing the same.
At this writing we have 12 states and 39 percent of the nation’s restaurants completely smoke-free with several more states to sign smoke-free legislation this year.
The one common factor in every state that has gone smoke-free is that the state’s restaurant association has either supported or remained neutral on the legislation. In Tennessee, the restaurant association is opposed to smoke-free legislation, and until that changes I see little chance of the state passing any meaningful smoke-free legislation.
I know tobacco plays a big role in Tennessee traditions, but this is one tradition that it would be better to part with, sooner rather than later, for the health of the vast majority of Tennesseans who do not smoke.
PAUL MCINTYRE firstname.lastname@example.org (Roseville, Calif.)
Give me a No. 3, hold the smoke
I am a cancer survivor who MUST avoid secondhand smoke (“Puff, Puff, Pass,” March 23). I will be attending a four-day conference in Nashville later this week and must find clean-air places to eat. One of the difficulties is that chain fast-food restaurants vary: the “corporate owned” stores may all be smoke-free, but not the franchise stores—but they don’t have a sign, or a different color roof, so you don’t know. Two years ago, when I attended a similar conference at the Convention Center/Renaissance Hotel, I discovered that the restaurant on the main floor of the hotel was smoke-free. Hopefully, it still is. But the Bridge Restaurant crossing the street at the third-floor level was quite smoky. A list of downtown restaurants available then, on the Internet, were mostly “yuppie” type places that only served lunch—which of course didn’t help the conventioneers much. This left us with Burger King near the arcade, Subway across from McKendree Methodist Church, and a pizza place in front of our hotel. When I retire in 16 months, we may move to a clean-air state instead of dealing with smoke in Tennessee.
DWIGHT D. GATWOOD, PH.D. email@example.com (Martin)
I very rarely write this type of letter, but, after reading the article written by Walter Jowers (“Attention, Shoppers,” March 23), I felt compelled to say, “Great article.” As a private building inspector in Florida (a member of FABI, Florida Association of Build Inspectors, and NAHI, the National Association of Home Inspectors), I thought Walter wrote one of the best articles I’ve read offering general information to the home buying public.
RICHARD ALEXIS firstname.lastname@example.org (Hollywood, Fla.)
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