Mail Call

Online readers comment on "Smoked Out," by Chris Gray, August 30

Discrimination: I know that the antismoking coalition/movement is armed with false information such as manipulated data, targeted surveys and exaggerations. For instance, most smokers die from heart or cancer-related illness. But also most nonsmokers die from heart or ­cancer-related illness, so how can these be ­smoking-related diseases? Duh...It would be more truthful to say ­nonsmoking-related diseases, since they affect most of the 70 percent of the population who don't smoke.

That's just one example of the fraud the general public has accepted as supposed fact. Don't people use their brains anymore? The original release of the Environmental Protection Agency's secondhand smoke report (before it was retracted from public issuance) gave the definition of "relative risk" as "an estimate of the unknown, but believed to be true." Smokers are being subjected to legal hate crimes; anti's are using falsities as justification. Where is justice? Where is fairness? What happened to the compromises smokers made (smoking sections, etc.)? It's all right to discriminate against smokers — no one will stand up for them.


antismoker bias

Comment by Jack Ritchie

For the ban: Wow, that is pretty cool. Time to quit smoking anyway.

Comment by John Davis

Fourteen reasons to quit: "But also most nonsmokers die from heart or ­cancer-related illness, so how can these be ­smoking-related diseases? Duh..."

But smokers die sooner. About 14 years, on average.

The "secondhand smoke is harmless" theory holds no water. You assume that the entire cigarette is smoked. What about the time that it just sits there burning? Is it somehow less toxic just because the smoke isn't directly inhaled from the butt? I think not.

Comment by D

Pet Project

From the ferret's champion: Thank you for writing such a nice, unbiased article about the Houston ferrets ["Ferret Love," by Richard Connelly, August 23]. For a non-animal person, you wrote a wonderful article. When Gail read it, he was laughing so hard he couldn't talk.

Some people like some things; we like ferrets. There is nothing better than to have a ferret come up and tackle a leg and then dance away. This is an invitation to come play. Ferrets love to play, and we like playing with them.

We derive a great deal of pleasure from seeing an abused ferret become a sweet, loving, trusting animal. We also feel good when that ferret goes to a loving home and makes a family happy. I guess if we rescued another animal in this world, we would feel the same. Everything has to have a champion. We in the Houston Area Ferret Association are the ferret's champions.

Thank you, Rich, for helping to spread the word of these wonderful babies. Little Pal, Cimarron, Kodiak, Charlie, Jillian, Merlin and Hot Dog, along with our foster ferrets Brooke, C.C. and Ivy, all say thank you too.

Gail and Jimi Hummel

Honoring the Prince: Thank you so much for mentioning Prince Vladimir Poopin in your article...I am sure he is very honored. I also loved the LOL Ferret section. Ferret hugs!

Noni Clark, Dave, Rigel and Kira...
Missing Vladi

Rich Connelly, ferret owner? I live in an international ferret community. Being the leading ferret cartoonist, I have friends and customers worldwide. I was impressed by your hilarious article. Are you sure you are not a ferret owner? You would definitely fit in with all the people I know. Your article is now flying around the world at warp speed. I have received it 18 times from people. I have seen it in many ferret newsletters and in online newsletters as well.

The ferret is not only the third most popular pet in America (over 5 million in California alone), but it is the third most popular pet in the world. It is amazing how many people don't know anything about them.

Deva Kolb
Portersville, California

Ferret smuggler: I absolutely loved the article on ferrets. My little boy, Slinky, is three years old, and although he is illegal in California, everyone in our cul-de-sac knows him and sees the little guy walking (on a leash) around our court. The consensus is that he is adorable, and they all want to pet him and fuss over him. Would you believe that even though you can't buy or sell ferrets (I smuggled him in from Reno), all the pet stores have a ferret section where you can buy ferret shampoos, conditioners, hairbrushes, treats, food, cages, toys, harnesses, etc.? Veterinarians in California are allowed to treat ferrets without reporting them to the authorities, but if the SPCA finds your pet, they will not return it to you. You have to make arrangements to ship your pet out of town and, of course, ferret owners always manage to have them smuggled back home. Wouldn't it be preferable to allow ferrets in California that are neutered and have all their shots? Then the cities could make some extra money on ferret licenses. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger promised to sign legislation making them legal if he was elected, then reneged on his promise.

Barbara Vas
Millbrae, California


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