Stand Up for Our Rights

RECEIVED Mon., March 14, 2005

Dear Chronicle,
    I wanted to write the Chronicle about the upcoming city vote regarding smoking in public establishments [“Austin to Vote Smoke-Free?,” News, March 11]. I am an avid pool player, a friend of the local music scene, and I currently attend a smaller university in the area. A certain organization has decided that it is more beneficial to the public that I no longer be able to smoke while I shoot pool or attend a show. It's not enough that I am taxed an extra amount for the purchase of cigarettes, now they must turn smoking into such a sin that it must take place in alleys and doorways.
    Several months ago I was forced to not be able to smoke in restaurants with designated smoking sections and I had to deal with it. Now I am being told that Onward Austin is pushing for city legislation that prohibits me to smoke while listening to my favorite band or playing a game of nine ball at Slick Willie's or Rack Daddy's. What is next? No smoking on city streets without a permit or license? Will the next city ordinance be that I cannot smoke while in a motor vehicle?
    I implore that The Austin Chronicle support local business and stand up for smokers across Austin; help turn down the new city ordinance that is coming up soon for the May ballot!
Cyrus Akhavizadeh
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