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Letter: Smoking kills, companies admit

More people die every year from smoking than from murder, AIDS, suicide, drugs, car crashes and alcohol, combined.

R.J. Reynolds, Philip Morris, Altria and Lorillard made this statement about the health effects of smoking, according to USA Today (“Tobacco companies forced to ‘fess up’ to 1,200 smoking deaths a day in new ads”).

I wanted to report it today for every citizen to read. If anyone can’t read or “don’t have time,” call me. I’ll read it to you. For the folks that live to book-face, my-face, space-face, face-to-face or get out-of-space, please get on your computers and reach out to the following group and their outfits to make sure they have read that statement:

Dari Caldwell, Novant Health Rowan Medical Center; Alyssa Smith, UNHealthy Rowan; Amy Smith, Rowan Health Department; Greg Edds, Jim Greene, Judy Klusman and the other two, RoCo “Bored;” Don Bringle, Rowan Parks Advisory Board; and anyone active in the Rowan IDEA Center in the Gone South Palace. Maybe someone can figure out why such a backward thing not only goes on but is encouraged in a county that wants to move forward and improve local quality of life.

As I was reading “Free Things for Adults,” it dawned on me that maybe the leaders of RoCo might not be as bad as I thought. I guess they want the smokers to have something free.

Here are the Top Ten things a smoker receives free with every pack of cig-a-butts. The countdown: 10. yellow fingers; 9. brown teeth; 8. bad breath; 7. smelly clothes; 6 burning eyes; 5. raspy voice; 4. sore throats; 3. cough; 2. emphysema; and the No. 1 thing — lung cancer.

I would like to dedicate this letter to the pillars of the community and see if just one of them could help Rowan Co. get off its “butts” and really move forward in 2018.

Here’s hoping some day soon someone will say to all of Rowan, “Have a Healthy New Year,” and mean it.

— Whitey Harwood

Rowan County

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