Regarding the article on second hand smoke by Sidney Zion in Vol. 13 No. 3, as I compose this letter here in Long Beach, California the annual fires of October are raging and it occurred to me that the discussion focuses on the wrong part of the debate. We are talking about smoke and the accepted definition of smoke is as follows:
1. The vaporous system made up of small particles of carbonaceous matter in the air, resulting mainly from the burning of organic material, such as wood or coal.
2. A suspension of fine solid or liquid particles in a gaseous medium.
3. A cloud of free particles.
I am pretty sure that a majority of the medical profession would agree that breathing smoke is not good for any air-breathing creature. When we single out a specific potential effect from second hand smoke and use that to criticize public policy restricting certain behaviors, we are guilty of the same tactics that the article is accusing the proponents of these policies of. …