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by Abigail Van Buren

Hospital Room Is No Place to Conduct a Family Feud

DEAR ABBY: A lot has been said about the health benefits from quitting smoking. I have an extra benefit I'd like to mention.

I was a smoker for more than 50 years. During the last 20 years, I smoked three packs a day.

When I finally decided to quit in 1997, I began putting aside the money I would have spent on cigarettes. In November of '98 I took my wife and two young grandchildren from Oregon to Disneyworld in Florida for eight days.

I'm still not smoking, still saving and plan to take my wife and oldest granddaughter to Hawaii in April of 2000.

Abby, my health is better now and I'm really enjoying retirement. Sign me ... HAPPY TRAVELER, TIGARD, ORE.

DEAR HAPPY TRAVELER: Congratulations -- and aloha!