Letters to the editor for March 14, 2007

Dear Editor,

Donald Trump&8217;s mind thinks 24-7 on ways to make money; my thoughts rage on promoting health while demoting tobacco.

In 1987, Dr. Ira Myers, M.D., Chairman of The Coalition for a Tobacco Free Alabama signed a resolution recognizing my efforts to address tobacco abuse in Alabama.

Rush Limbaugh even highlighted my creative ways to fight youth smoking on his National Radio Commentary in 1998.

An American Medical Association representative invited me up to Chicago in 2000 to speak on creative ways to prevent teen smoking at the 11th World Conference on Health or Tobacco (financially unable to attend).

Then-president of the AMA, Dr. Thomas Houston, e-mailed me that he liked my baseball-related theme &8220;Extra Innings for Your Life,&8221; that I promoted in baseball parks in Kentucky, Ohio, Missouri, Indiana, and Florida in 2000.

Recently I was selected by over 20 Florida county health departments to interview for a Tobacco Prevention and Cessation job. One of the regional directors told me during an interview that I was &8220;too passionate&8221; to work with their bureaucracy.

It&8217;s been an honor for me to be published in about 300 (I don&8217;t have time to count them) newspaper publications with my pro-health letters in the last 19 months.

A becoming friend with the Montreal Gazette Newspaper in Canada just mailed me some tobacco-related reports.

It is reported that our Alabama has a very high 24.9 percent of high school smoking students. The same report declares that 174,000 Alabama kids under age 18 will ultimately die prematurely from smoking. Would it make a difference if these 174,000 died in one day?

It&8217;s sad that my passion lives in Alabama, a state that has more support for pigskin than human-skin.

Regretfully, my creative juices don&8217;t flow when asking for funds for my non-profit I Will Never Use Tobacco, Inc.

Today, I would be excited to work with the Alabama State Department of Education on creative ways to prevent our innocent kids from tobacco addiction. Shouldn&8217;t teaching little Bama children the wicked harms of &8220;Tobacco Road&8221; be a top priority?

My resume has over two gigabytes of my anti-tobacco relationships and a grave picture reflecting &8220;no relationship&8221; with my dad since tobacco ended his life when I was 11.

Here I am &8212; tobacco&8217;s worst enemy in Alabama.

Mike Sawyer