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(Impure) breezes blow
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

As a Mormon child I sang: "O ye mountains high, where the clear blue sky Arches over the vales of the free, Where the pure breezes blow and the clear streamlets flow, How I've longed to your bosom to flee! O Zion! dear Zion!"

Well, Zion's sky is no longer blue, and its breezes are impure.

Utah's Mormon Legislature famously required that restaurants build "Zion curtains" to protect citizens' eyes from seeing mixed drinks, but it's darn reluctant to do much about protecting their lungs from the air they breathe.

Mormons abstain from smoking cigarettes and boast of better health, yet, ironically, according to the "NBC Nightly News," Salt Lake has the "nation's dirtiest air" — "four times more toxic than what's considered safe," the equivalent of forcing everyone to become an "active smoker."

Our pollution is due to our geography and climate, but that only means that the dirtiest conditions require the strictest standards — on everything: California emissions standards on cars and trucks, the strictest smokestack scrubbers and regulations on industrial polluters.

But our governor and Legislature boast of being pro-business and anti-government. How about being pro-people?

Apply the Word of Wisdom's wise smoking ban to our air!

Daniel Olsen

Salt Lake City

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