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Letter: Cigar smoking is a start down an unhealthy decline

Letter: Cigar smoking is a start down an unhealthy decline

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In 1972, my addiction to tobacco started with a cigar. My father smoked a pipe. At the time, it was believed that, because we didn’t inhale, it was not a threat. My addiction lasted 20 years. I used cigars, cigarettes and a pipe. My wife and the good people at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center cared about me enough to help me break my habit. I will always be grateful for what they did. If you smoke, get help.

Today, we know that tobacco is a leading cause of death. Secondhand smoke is just as deadly as inhaling cigarettes. Several friends and a family member, who never smoked, have life-long health problems due to secondhand smoke. Tobacco addiction, whether caused by cigar, cigarette, or pipe is the same deadly disease.

Today there are cigar clubs and outlets opening up throughout Western New York and ads are appearing in local news outlets and fliers. Soon, there will be a Cigar Fest in the Wings Pavilion. People there will be encouraged to start a habit that can damage their health, possibly kill them. One single cigar can contain as much carcinogens as a pack of cigarettes.

My enjoyment at public events, such as the Jazz Festival in Lewiston, has been ruined by inconsiderate cigar smokers, who smell like burning garbage trucks.

Television and other news outlets, if they care about the health of their audience, should stop advertising cigar outlets. Government should forbid them from advertising. Cigar dealers and their promoters are no better than heroine dealers.

William O’Connor

Grand Island

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