To the editor:

Once again the advocates of ``kill ourselves and everyone else along with us' have reared their ugly heads. And for what? To take away my right to enjoy a meal in a public restaurant without having to gag over second-hand smoke. Non-smokers haven't asked that smoking be banned in restaurants. We have only asked for a little niche of our own.Smoking isn't something that should be voted on. If the smokers win the vote, then the non-smokers lose everything. We will be victims of smoker's bad habits. If the non-smokers win, then the smokers have lost nothing. They will still have the right to smoke in restaurants, just as they do now.

It was interesting to see that city council member Robert Mays is so adept at factoring. If he factored in the fact that Lorillard is the third largest taxpayer in Greensboro, did he also factor in that their product is one of the leading causes of poor health? Factor in the cost of health care, Mr. Mays and then give us some costs. Then I think you and council member Earl Jones will have something to really be impressed about. Fay Pegram Greensboro

One bright Saturday afternoon in July an attractive, very nicely dressed couple sporting warm smiles and patriotic looking badges appeared at my home. They stated their group was named VOICE which was in support of our freedoms in Greensboro. When I queried what freedoms the petition they held supported, they responded that its intent was to allow business owners to ban smoking or not ban it from their workplace. As one who believes in freedom of owners to have a smoke-free work environment, I responded I would happily sign the petition.

When I read the petition, it did not name directly the limited smoking ordinance hard won last year on behalf of children, persons with lung disease and other citizens so they would not have to endure smoke in public places - but I had a bad feeling this was a veiled attempt at eliminating the ordinance. When I stated to this couple I voted for last year's smoking ordinance their smiles disappeared quickly, as did they.

As I watched them move on to the next unsuspecting household, I pondered how deceit clothes itself in so many wondrous forms. Moreover, I was angry at almost being duped. Ron Thompson Greensboro

When will opponents of the smoking ordinance ever learn? Maybe by some stretch of the imagination they have the right to kill themselves early and ruin the quality of their lives but what they can't seem to grasp is, they have no right to take others with them and ruin their health and well being.

This is another day of headache and nausea for me because of growing up in a home with a father who smoked three packs of cigarettes per day. Back then, (I'm now 43) there was little evidence to see the error of smoking, but today there's a vast array of facts to back up the case against tobacco.

Smokers, keep your pollution in your home, car or anywhere there's no one else to harm. It's pathetic to have to resort to legalities to stop selfish people. Carol Pulliam Kernersville

Regarding Ann Neace's letter of Oct. 23:

You state revenue as your No. 1 reason for tobacco to be left alone. Not once did you mention the danger to one's health nor the cost to society of a smoker or chewer.

My hospitilization just increased over $1,000 per year. I blame part of this due to cancer and other tobacco-related sicknesses. Do you not realize the loss of time at a job of a smoker? Do you realize the cost of property damaged by cigarettes? Do you realize the social security paid out when one parent becomes disabled or dies due to tobacco contributing sickness?

Cigarette smoking in a home is abuse to that child we brought into this world as you so state. No amount of money could replace a mommy, daddy or other loved one.

I worked three blocks from Lorillard and choked when the breeze blew a certain direction. Just imagine living in the area.

Yes, it hurts to lose one's job due to a lesser demand for a commodity. I hope you put some of those big bucks away for a rainy day. Your qualm is not the tobacco, it is the higher wages that tobacco plants have been known to pay.

To make a living selling something that you know is detrimental to ones health is a disgrace. Mary Maszera Liberty

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