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Published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on June 21, 2000. All rights
Between the Lines
To the casual observer, Princeton’s planned regulation
to ban smoking in virtually any public place in the borough and
— including restaurants and bars — might seem like a tempest
in a teapot. Or a brouhaha in a beer mug. Why not let adults determine
their own fates? For those who want to make good tips as a bartender
in a smoking environment — let them. Other jobs in the hospitality
industry in smoke-free environments are plentiful.
Then we looked at Dan Zegart’s book "Civil Warriors: the legal
siege on the Tobacco Industry" (Delacorte Press, 2000). Zegart
was a reporter for the Times of Trenton in the early 1990s and now
lives in Titusville with his photojournalist wife, Laura. He will
speak and sign his book at Barnes & Noble in Marketfair on Tuesday,
June 27, at 7 p.m. (Call 609-897-9250).
What with secret phone calls, stolen documents, mysterious
surveillance teams, and witnesses in disguise, this nonfiction report
of battling legal teams has the derring-do of a John Grisham novel,
but because real life is so much more complex than fiction, the casual
reader can get weighed down by the details. But Zegart paints a
drama through portraits of the scientists, the sources, the cancer
patients, and most of all the attorneys — particularly attorney
Motley was not always triumphant. According to the Clarksville
Tobacco Merchants Association, a trade group that covers the industry,
the tobacco giants have lost only two major cases, one in San
and one in Oregon, both in January 1999, and both are under appeal.
There have also been two settlements, the flight attendants’ case
in Florida and the major Medicare settlement brought by the states.
Page 142 of "Civil Warriors" begins to make one feel
about laissez-faire attitudes toward secondhand tobacco or what the
cigaret companies prefer to call "environmental tobacco"
Zegart writes of how Burl Butler, a 53-year-old barber, is dying of
lung cancer in Laurel, Mississippi. He tells Motley how almost all
his customers smoked and how he had worked for decades in a gray
always knew they (the cigarets) were killing those other people, but
I never dreamed they were killing me," said Butler.
Suddenly the strictest no-smoking law this side of California begins
to make a little more sense.
Health news takes on a more cheerful aspect with U.S.
1 Newspaper’s Health Fair 2000, coincidentally set for earlier on
the same day of Zegart’s appearance, Tuesday, June 27, from 4 to 7
p.m., at the Holiday Inn on Route 1 at Ridge Road. Four plastic
— Drs. Eugenie Brunner, Jill Hazen, Thomas Leach, and Kevin Nini
— will give a panel on "Straight Talk About Plastic
at 4:15 p.m. Stephen Felton M.D. discusses "New Insight Into Laser
Eye Surgery" at 5:45 p.m.
Two dozen exhibitors will be there to enlighten, educate, improve
everyone’s health and fitness quotient — and offer door prizes.
You are invited, it’s all free. See page 29 for details. Call
with questions. !Salud!
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