Tobacco kills too many

    The recent media-fueled public hysteria over "dangerous" automobile tires needs to be contrasted with the realities of our No. 1 health risk. Tobacco products kill more people in this country than anything else.
    The 100 or so deaths and the few hundred injuries reportedly caused by "faulty" tires should be considered a less important issue than the hundreds of thousands of deaths and countless injuries caused by tobacco products every year.
    Under no government regulations, the tobacco industry manufactures and distributes a product that, when used as intended, results in disease and death. We do not tolerate tires that kill. Why do we not demand the recall of all tobacco products?
    Our state legislators need to be reminded that money received from the "tobacco settlement" should be spent on what the fight was about. We must not tolerate the use of this money for political gain. Let's use this money to save our children's lives, as it was originally intended to do.

Michael S. Cole, M.D.
2 October 2000
Southwest Times Record