December 29, 2008

Governor Kulongoski
160 State Capitol
900 Court Street
Salem, , Oregon  97301-4047


I applaud your new initiative to get rid of tobacco vending machines, that will fill a glaring hole in the sales to minors restrictions.

 January first starts the new smoking restrictions and while I applaud anything done in that direction I still think we are punishing the wrong person.  Look at it this way, when someone is in prison we tell them where they can go, when they can eat, when they can sleep, etc.  Right?  So we have drug addicts (nicotine) on the street and we are telling them where they “can't” smoke?  So it is the average citizen that is burdened, we must avoid them.  Lets quit screwing around with this problem that kills more U.S. and Oregon citizens than anything else.  Lets put some real chains on this problem that is costing us billions in medical bills every year.

I shouldn't need to repeat the hazards of secondhand smoke yet subjecting people to daily doses of it for some reason seems entirely acceptable.  Why is that?

I would like to propose a more comprehensive restriction to the tobacco addiction problem.
I would like to suggest that cigarette smoke be declared a PUBLIC NUISANCE.  Smoking should be banned anywhere it comes into contact with the general public including outdoor public gatherings, parks and even the sidewalks.   For Pete's sake, these people are addicts and are sucking down possibly the most addictive drug in the world.  WHY is it necessary for me to share?

Which brings me to another point.  I sincerely believe that it should no longer be referred to as a habit in any state communication but should be called what it is, nicotine addiction.

Thank You