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Thomas Jefferson would have voted to ban smoking

Alvin Weiner - Breckenridge

Tony Flitcraft’s excellent letter Nov. 10 did what none of my teachers were able to accomplish – read and try to understand the nuances of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. 

My take on Jefferson’s words in his first inaugural address differs somewhat from Tony’s. 

After expressing his gratitude for the honor of being elected president and humbly admitting that the task “is above my talents,” he first enumerates the many strengths of our new nation and its Constitution and urges us to pursue the principles of our representative government. 

Finally he states “with all these blessings, what more is necessary to make us a happy and prosperous people?

“Still one thing more, fellow citizens – a wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industryŠ this is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.”

I believe with today’s knowledge of the adverse effects of secondhand smoke that Jefferson would have voted with the majority, although recognizing the right of the individual to smoke. 

Regarding our country’s current policies about the tobacco trade, I think he would have left it up to the people to decide and vote their minds. Would that our elected officials have the wisdom of President Jefferson.

 Alvin Weiner

Breckenridge


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