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Out of the Humidor

CA Readers
From the Print Edition:
George Burns, Winter 94/95

(continued from page 4)

I am the managing editor of a chain of weekly newspapers in western New York and as part of my job I recently took a trip to a suburb of Philadelphia to view a potential new pagination system from a vendor. The logo of the firm--Managing Editor Software--is of a man, apparently a managing editor, dressed in suspenders andbow tie, smoking a cigar. Ironically, as I type this I am clad in suspenders and bow tie, and I have clenched in my teeth an unlit Arturo Fuente (smoke-free news-room, an abomination).

At the software provider's offices, the cigar-smoking logo is set on the wall about five feet high. To break the ice with the potential software supplier, I quipped that I was glad to see a cigar in the picture and suggested that I might want to light up.

Not possible, I was informed, as the firm's office building was smoke-free. I was miffed that they would choose to ride on the coattails of the growing popularity of cigar smoking while not allowing it in their firm's offices.

And while my newspaper may operate out of smoke-free offices, at least we don't festoon our walls with images of smokers. A firm's logo should represent its mission, and in this case Managing Editor Software missed the mark.

Ray Ammerman
Buffalo, New York

* * *

Dear Marvin,

It is good to know that there is now a printed outlet for smokers, who are fast becoming social outcasts, suffering indignities and insults from self-righteous health fascists and other holier-than-thou types.

But let us not give in to these prohibitionistic patronizers and their killjoy mentalities. Let us not be misled into thinking that this is a health issue; it is not. It is about morality legislation, priggishness and puritanism. Tobacco is not the first substance or activity threatened by these prune-faced, purse-lipped destroyers of enjoyment and it will not be the last.

To those of us who are devotees of that other noble weed, persecution and unsubstantiated propaganda posing as scientific fact are not new--nor are they surprising. Three packs of Camels a day or an Arturo Fuente Hemingway a week: it makes no difference to these antismoking zealots. It's drug abuse that must be stopped, freedom and the Constitution be damned. To those of you who are experiencing these witch hunts for the first time, wake up and smell the stink. The prohibitionists have succeeded with marijuana, now they are working on tobacco and alcoholic beverages. What will be next? Coffee, meat, eggs; who can tell? The only thing certain is that these people will not stop with tobacco.

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