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Letter: 86-year-old doing pretty well after smoking years ago
First Published Feb 27 2014 01:01 am • Last Updated Feb 27 2014 01:01 am

Re "Raising smoking age to 21 gets nod," Tribune, Feb. 21: "Are you kidding me?"

I need to try to understand the thought process that seems to guide the lawmakers so saddled in their strictly disciplined dogma controlling all matters of liquor, sex, nicotine and coffee.

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These great, open and ever-inquisitive minds parade Betty Lawson, an 86-year-old woman, out to show the insidiousness of smoking cigarettes. Now get this: By her own admission, Ms. Lawson has not smoked in 47 years. She started smoking at 19, smoked for 20 years, quit at 39 and is now the poster child for raising the age of legally buying cigarettes.

Without taking into account actuarial science and life expectancy norms, Ms. Lawson seems to have done just fine.

Why do we have to be exposed to utter nonsense? Do they think we are as dumb as they are? If you think about it, Ms. Lawson’s 86-year-old body is screaming to all 19-year-olds, "Have at it! I smoked as a teen. I smoked for 20 years! Look at me! I’m 86!"

If I’d known her, I wouldn’t have quit so long ago.

John K. Dallimore

Cottonwood Heights

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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