The good fight against teen smoking
Unhappily, it is safe to say that the teenage smokers at Monument Mountain Regional High School profiled Tuesday are hardly unique to that school.
In spite of concrete evidence that smoking causes cancer, emphysema and heart disease, among other hideous ailments, teenagers assume they are immortal or can easily kick a highly addictive drug. The student who said he would quit smoking if an X-ray indicated his lungs were affected would quite possibly be quitting too late to save himself, which demonstrates how important education is when it comes to anti-smoking efforts. That teens are still smoking does not mean that anti-smoking programs have failed, it means they are dealing with both a tough audience and a tough competitor in the cigarette companies, which are always finding new ways to attract young people to replace smokers who have died off -- many in horrible fashion. The fight against youth smoking by health and school officials and nonsmoking teens is a difficult one that requires resources and imagination, but it is a fight that must be fought.
Children before dogs Lee appears to be the latest Berkshire town to live dangerously by giving kid-glove treatment to a dog that has bitten local residents, in this case two small children. The interests of the dog owners should be secondary to the interests of parents whose children were attacked, but remarkably too many Berkshire select boards don't seem to grasp this. It will be unfortunate if Lee or another Berkshire town and its taxpayers learns this lesson from a punishing lawsuit because the town was derelict in its responsibilities.