Dear editor:

It was with much interest that I read Patrick Griffin’s “Let’s Ban Smoking Outright” [March 18]. My dad smoked cigarettes, cigars, and pipes for many years. He is now down to only smoking a pipe occasionally. Of my father’s offspring three out of the four of us also took up smoking in our teen years. (I was the lone nonsmoker.) Currently only my youngest sister continues to do so. Although she has no children, I suspect the children she baby-sits will one day begin to smoke.

The real reason smoking has not died out is money. Even the Reader is guilty of capitalizing on getting money from supporters of smoking. Slipped in between section three and section four of the same issue of Mr. Griffin’s article was a four-page, foldout, color-filled, comic-strip-style flyer for Joe’s Place, a clever marketing scheme by the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company. Although it says the offer is restricted to smokers 21 years of age or older they know darn well that isn’t the case. I’ve seen five-year-old kids wearing cigarette advertising.

Wake up America! We need to show our children and the generations to come what smoking is all about. It’s a clever money-scheme conspiracy to turn our youth into nicotine-dependent, cancer-stricken, money-wasting fools who will statistically die at an earlier age. Is this a form of genocide?

John Sunderman

Oak Park