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Saturday, April 10, 1999

Rescind the tobacco
poison settlement

Hawaii should rescind the lawsuit settlement with the tobacco poison industry, which allows murderous tobacco-related diseases to continue to slaughter our citizens.

Significant amounts of more than 200 poisons have been discovered in tobacco poison products; 50,000 scientific studies help establish that all tobacco poison products are very dangerous to use, and that there is no safe amount of regular tobacco use.

More than 400,000 Americans are killed annually by tobacco poison, at least 1,000 in Hawaii, with many of these victims first suffering great pain and other misery.

Nevertheless, each day about 3,000 American youngsters start using tobacco, with a greater increase occurring in girls and young women.

Claims that it is a "free choice" for people when they start using tobacco are a deception. Most tobacco poison victims in Hawaii and elsewhere started when they were legally underage -- immature, not fully realizing the horrible consequences. Their choices can be significantly influenced by tobacco poison propaganda or ads and other misleading information.

Influential advertising, glamorizing the use of (tobacco) poison, is so important to the industry that it spends at least $5 billion annually on such advertising. Youngsters make an influenced choice to use tobacco poison, not a free choice.

We can start to cure tobaccoism with tougher language. Instead of "smoking," we should substitute "poison" or "poisoning" as accurate and more effective words. We must emphasize that an average "smoker" is a "tobacco poison user" or a "tobacco poison victim."

We can do much better to improve tobacco-poison prevention education in Hawaii, until greater funding comes from a realistic settlement with Tobacco-Poison Inc.

Edward Arrigoni
PRESIDENT
Clean-Air Angels

Tapa

People know what their communities need

As disingenuous as some of his other ideas have been, Mayor Harris' community-based vision program is a step in the right direction. Decentralized, community-based initiatives and planning could be a viable antidote to future Ewa Village-like fiascos.

For decades we filled government to the brim with business people and lawyers on the premise that their "expertise" would allow our communities to flourish. But top-down decision-making and "one-size-for-all" visions ignore what communities really need.

They ignore the uniqueness of each place and the desires of the people who live there. They do not provide the checks and balances that full community involvement offers. They allow secret deals and hasty decisions based on special interests.

I doubt that we would have as much social and economic distress if city and state programs (e.g. regulating agencies, housing, education and mental health) were more connected with and responsive to the needs of the community.

Pat DeBusca Jr.
WAIPAHU
Via the Internet

Voters should decide fate of fireworks

The House Finance Committee hearing on March 31 indicated there will be little change in the manner which fireworks will be handled. As long as there are fireworks allowed, the aerials will fly.

Existing rules are impossible to enforce and are completely disregarded. We must take into consideration the firefighters, police officers and those suffering from the ill effects of fireworks.These are reasons enough, not to mention the danger of homes burning and people getting maimed.

These are not incidental happenings.Fireworks, legal and illegal, have been used with complete abandon.

To control this situation, it is necessary to reinstate the statewide ban. Also, strict penalties should apply to the offenders. Is it time to put this on the ballot for the voters to decide?

Nancy Jeffs
Via the Internet


"I've dedicated all of this to
the young people of Hawaii to
show what can be done.
(Now) I'm done and it's
a great relief."

Keolalaulani Dalire
HULA DANCER FROM KANEOHE
After winning the Miss Aloha Hula title at the Merrie Monarch
Festival, as her mother and two sisters
did previously

"That horse has had
nine lives, I think."

Daniel Nagamine
CO-OWNER OF THE FLAMINGO CHUCKWAGON
On the life-size replica of a horse that will be sold
to the highest bidder along with other items, now
that the landmark restaurant on Kapiolani is closed


Don't blame gun makers for guns that work

I agree with the befuddlement expressed by Vernon Okamura (Letters, March 29) concerning the trend of suing gun manufacturers.This is yet another example of people avoiding responsibility for their own actions. If they don't like the result, or better yet, if the result isn't what they thought it would be, blame someone else.

We blame the tobacco companies because we get lung cancer from smoking, the restaurant for serving us coffee that's too hot, and now the gun companies for making guns that actually shoot.At what point will common sense take over, and the courts finally say, "This is your fault; no one forced you to purchase this"?

These companies are simply providing a product for which there is a market, you know, kinda like the principle behind capitalism.

Jeff Dixon
KAILUA
Via the Internet

Milk is not a necessity; in fact, avoid it

Why is the state of Hawaii in the milk business, when most residents are lactose-intolerant? Why do you think Canada and European countries will not import American beef or dairy products? Don't you think their scientists know something that we are ignorant about?

Almost all non-white people are lactose-intolerant. Even "haoles" do not do well consuming dairy products. Milk is the perfect food for a calf that wants to gain 300 pounds in one year. Advertising in the newspaper, TV and radio has brainwashed most people.

How about reading the facts about dairy? Milk is the most allergic "food" on Earth. Bovine-growth hormones in American cows are not safe.

Contrary to what Diane Chang wrote in her April 5 column: Milk is NOT a necessity. It is a luxury of fat European people. Some luxury, eh?

Patrick Moore

It's hazardous to bike around Honolulu

Before the stars of "Pacific Blue" begin riding their bikes around Waikiki, I hope they get the city to fix the two-inch ridge between the gutter and the roadway fronting Kuhio Beach. That ridge cost me a broken rib, a severely bruised hip and three visits to the doctor.

I would like to see everybody on bicycles, and maybe "Pacific Blue" can help promote the image of Honolulu as a year-around cyclist's dream. But first, the city has to get serious about making the roadways safe for those of us who already ride.

Don Child

Tapa

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