To The Editor,
In reference to the letter to the editor in the Wetzel Chronicle on Wednesday, Dec. 28, I think maybe someone should take the position of the devil's advocate, and since I don't think anyone else will volunteer, I will take on the task.
But, first let me make it clear that I do not advocate anyone to start using tobacco products because they are unhealthy on the buyer's wallet. So let's get back to the subject of smoking.
I think that we should look back in time as to when our government decided that smoking was harmful. It was a few years after the second World War. The government was testing A-bombs in the atmosphere, and then all at once they started detonating them underground. What was their reason? It had to be much cheaper to test them in the atmosphere. Most of the public was unaware that radiation could cause cancer. Could it have been that our government became aware of that fact when there was an upswing in the amount of cancer in the population?
Could our government come out and tell its citizens that what they had been doing was causing people to develop cancer? Of course not. So some of our brilliant minds in government came up with the idea to blame it on something else.
That something else was cigarettes since almost everyone at that time smoked. So they gave the job to the surgeon general to inform the public that cigarettes were the cause of the rise in cancer in our public. I must admit the propaganda almost had me convinced. Would our government lie to its people?
Let's look at some facts: Fact number one: I know of no independent study, that doesn't take government money, that has ever proved that cigarettes cause cancer. Fact number two: It is a known fact that radiation causes cancer. Fact number three: Car exhaust has almost the same carcinogens that are in cigarette smoke only to a greater volume than cigarette smoke. You can keep cigarette smoke in your home, but you cannot keep car exhaust from our living quarters.
Now comes to the big question: If I come down with lung cancer, can the medical profession tell me that cigarettes, or second-hand, even third-hand smoke caused it over the other two suspects that I have named and show me proof? I think not.
So I will offer this challenge to the lady who wrote that letter to the editor. Show me some proof, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the government has not had a hand in, and I will thank you for it, since I don't like to think my government would lie to me.
Joseph J. Morris
New Martinsville, W.Va.