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The responses I have been receiving to my critique of Gatsby's can be pretty much summed up this way: Most people hate kids and don't want to dine anywhere near them. The only thing more annoying, these same folks say, is sitting next to a table of smokers. Well, it looks like kids will soon be the top gripe, if the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, and four other like-minded organizations have their way. They've banded together to form a coalition and have recently announced a statewide campaign to include a no-smoking-in-public-places initiative on the ballot in November 2002. In order to do so, they must collect the John Hancocks of 8 percent of the Floridians who voted in the last presidential election, which means that even if you got confused on the butterfly ballot and unwittingly helped elect George W., you can still sign away someone else's right to smoke in a restaurant.
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Jen Karetnick is an award-winning dining critic, food-travel writer, and author of the books Ice Cube Tray Recipes, Mango, and The 500 Hidden Secrets of Miami.
Contact: Jen Karetnick

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