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Blowing Smoke

March 15, 1987

Del Mar's proposed smoking ban initiative, introduced by Richard Roe (a former smoker) borders on absurdity. The initiative seeks to ban smoking in all public places including beaches, parks and city streets. A Harvard study equated nicotine addiction with heroin addiction. Mr. Roe's obsession with a smoke-free society could be a prototype of the effects of withdrawal.

The behavior of many recovering nicotine addicts should be enough incentive for young people to never take up the habit in the first place. The whole non-smoking issue has become a pop phenomenon--with a socially acceptable behavior as the main emphasis and health risks a side issue.

Although Del Mar's initiative would permit smokers to smoke in their own homes and yards (a generous concession) the rest of the measure defies all logic.

Before smoking can be banned as a contributor of outdoor pollution, the pollutants of greater toxicity will have to be banned first: campfires, charcoal-burning barbecues, insecticides, herbicides and car exhaust, to name a few. The police force will have to be tripled to enforce the law, if passed. One would think the Del Mar City Council had better things to do than waste the public's money on special interest group initiatives that would be impossible to enforce.

If they were honestly concerned about public health, they would concentrate their efforts on people who are dying of AIDS or dying from hunger on their city streets--or at least set up a therapy group to help ex-smokers cope with their vigilante vengeance.

HANNAH MORGAN

Oceanside

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