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Play It Again is a section of the journal where we republish quotes, gaffes, and immortal lines from friends and foes of tobacco control. It is compiled by Gene Borio, the webmaster of Tobacco BBS, which is the premier tobacco newsgathering site on the internet. Send contributions (including an original version or photocopy of the sourced item) to him at Tobacco BBS, PO Box 359, Village Station, New York 10014-0359; fax 001 212 260 6825. Send quotes from online stories (including the full article) or scanned documents (in GIF or JPEG format),

Dateline: Summer in the northern hemisphere—the dog days of August, in a broiling Southern California desert

There is a great deal of very serious activity about to take place at the moment: the World Conference on Tobacco or Health is about to take place in Chicago, the Engle jurors have just reached their stunning verdict, yet more legal manoeuverings are to come, the European Commission will decide what to do about tobacco advertising, the European Commission, England, Ireland and Canada may drag tobacco companies into court, and in countries, states, and towns around the globe the hard issues of environmental tobacco smoke, smoking bans, teen smoking, advertising, and taxes will be fought over, seemingly endlessly.

And through it all, still, over and over, millions a year will die from tobacco related illness, and families, friends, lovers, and grandchildren will be crushed. Meanwhile, millions more, most often kids, will continue to pick up the addiction.

Sometimes we need relief from this battleground, this neverending blast furnace of events; we need a respite.

Here in the desert, the sand at ground level is 140 degrees. And yet now golf courses cover the valley floor, the green and blue of foliage and pools have reclaimed the blinding sand, and …

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