Letter writer Michael J. Nichols complains in the Nov. 27 Eagle that "North Street is smoker's ashtray," referring to an earlier letter from Jo Ann Losinger about smoking in the same area.

Nichols is correct to bemoan most smokers' littering by flipping their butts here and there, but neither he nor Losinger notes that smoking is not illegal. As long as smoking is legal, they have no credible complaint about being able to detect tobacco use. Littering is unlawful, to be sure, so I carry a pocket ashtray that allows me to dump butts into a trash can later.

I used it even on a recent trip to India where a few butt ends of cigarettes would scarcely be noticed in the generally wildly unkempt streets. If North Street were like the streets of any of the several cities in India visited by my wife and I, Nichols and Losinger would have much more by which they could be offended.

ALBERT LEWIS

North Adams


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