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To Smoke...

At last, a political issue on which I, as a conservative Republican, can make common cause with Creative Loafing ("Hey, Pols! Leave Us Alone!" by Mike Miliard & Samantha Gellar, May 4)!

In our society today, smokers are the only minority which it is politically correct to persecute. The only solution to the pervasive discrimination against smokers is concerted action. The trouble with us is, we are generally laid-back, non-militant people, inclined to live and let live.

We are still 30% of the adult population, and that is a potent force, if united. If we would vote as a bloc, and boycott non-smoking venues, like the Charlotte Coliseum and many restaurants, we could quickly bring the health Nazis to their knees. All we lack is leadership.

— John S. Freeman, Charlotte

Or Not to Smoke...

How can you allow such a one-sided article on the NC Smoking ban. Maybe you're afraid of the tobacco companies that run all those ads in your paper? When did your paper become a puppet for big tobacco?

I am tired of going into a restaurant and smelling like I just cleaned ashtrays with my shirt! Would it hurt a smoker to go outside to smoke like they do at work? Smokers just don't want to have to respect others. What a horrible addiction. Is it not a violation of my rights to have a good time without smoke? And by the way when was the last time your smoker friends had a fork and a cig in their hands at the same time. If smoking is so great then why do smokers stop smoking while they eat?

The number of NC farmers that grow tobacco is shrinking with more and more foreign grown leaf being used. Friends from Colorado tell me that the smoking ban made people drink more, not less.

Here is just a small amount of the info at http://www.smokefreenc.org/facts.htm:

¨Workers who take four ten minute work breaks a day to smoke actually work one month less per year than workers who don't take smoking breaks. (Action on Smoking and Health, March 1994)

¨The costs of health care, increased fire insurance, damage to property, absenteeism, and lost productivity average as much as $4,600 for each smoker per year. (Weiss, Seattle University)

It would be nice to have both sides of the soon to be smoking ban.

— Greg Evangelist, Charlotte Big Burgers at Bob's

In response to the Chew On This article "Size Matters...How Big Are Your Portions" (by Linda Vespa, May 11).

It is true that Hardee's has a thick burger. But one of the thickest burgers, and largest portions of anything else on the menu, in town can be found at Bob's Pile 'Em Up located on Statesville Ave. My first visit to Bob's was June 20, 1992. I remember that date because I was in a friend's wedding that day. On a $50 bet, I was challenged to eat a bacon double-cheeseburger...all the way but no onions...and a large fry in 30 minutes. I barely made it!

Bob makes each burger by hand. A large fry fills up a whole to-go box with lid, and the burger is wrapped separately. He's gonna put about eight slices of bacon on the burger with three or four tomato slabs. If you get chili, it's gonna be a whole ladle full! If you have a taste for something other than burgers like chicken livers or chicken gizzards or shrimp or trout, Bob will make sure that your box won't close !

The best part is, you can get that burger, fry and drink for less than $5! If you spend $20 dollars at Bob's, you will hurt a family of four. If you want to see for yourself, Bob's Pile 'Em Up is located on Statesville Avenue between I-85 & LaSalle Street. He has a gravel parking lot and is carry-out only.

Be hungry...be very hungry!

— Brian McCorkle, Charlotte

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