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by Abigail Van Buren

Public's 'Right to Know' Doesn't Include Everything

DEAR ABBY: I read with interest the letter from Dr. Marvin Leaf suggesting that the fact that a person has died from a smoking-related disease should be included in his or her obituary. But why stop there?

Since obese people are inclined to have high blood pressure and arteries clogged with cholesterol, making them prime candidates for fatal heart attacks, an obituary might read: "Harold H. Smith, age 57 and 55 pounds overweight, succumbed suddenly last Sunday from a fatal heart attack." (His cholesterol level and blood pressure could also be included here.)

And, because studies have shown that there is definitely a connection between breast cancer and dietary fat, the obituary of Mary Jones might read: "Mary Jones, whose passion for ice cream, butter and barbecued ribs proved to be truly a fatal attraction, died Monday after a long bout with cancer."

Also, let's not forget those who have died of AIDS. This is America; the people have a right to know! -- STUART M. JOHNSON, LONG ISLANDER

DEAR STUART: Thanks for an amusing piece of satire. Laughter is sometimes very close to tears.

DEAR ABBY: May I add a few words to the letter from "One Hopeless Guy" who decided to chew tobacco instead of smoke it?

Let me tell you what "dipping snuff" will do to you:

The nicotine from the tobacco seeps into your bloodstream, causing the arteries to constrict. The blood platelets become sticky, while the heart starts to pound. Since the heart is beating faster through narrowing arteries, the blood pressure rises, increasing the chances of heart disease and stroke.

While all of this is going on, the tobacco that has been stuffed between the cheek and gums is leaving a white lesion -- a precancerous condition that becomes malignant in from 3 percent to 5 percent of the cases. Your teeth will scream for a dentist, not to mention the fact that your chances for developing cancer of the lip, nasal sinus, pharynx, larynx and esophagus also increase.

Your sense of taste and smell are diminished, which could result in the excessive use of salt, putting you at risk for high blood pressure and/or kidney disease. Also, too much sugar may invite dental problems.

I know this is not pleasant, Abby, but people who dip snuff need to know the facts. -- RON JETTE, OTTAWA, CANADA

P.S. As my stationery indicates, I am director of communications of the Lung Association.

DEAR RON JETTE: On behalf of those who dip snuff -- or consider it the lesser evil to smoking -- I thank you.

DEAR ABBY: You told "Foolish and Sorry," an Orange County girl, that you knew of no way to remove tattooed eyeliner. There are, however, ways that ophthalmologists specializing in cosmetic surgery of the eye can remove permanent eyeliner.

"Foolish and Sorry" should contact the university eye center nearest to her to find out if there is an oculoplastic surgeon who is experienced in removing tattooed eyeliner. -- KATHLEEN F. LOUDEN, CHICAGO

Everything you'll need to know about planning a wedding can be found in Abby's booklet, "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." To order, send a long, business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054. (Postage is included.)

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