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Smoking Solution

April 03, 1988

San Diego County is faced with many problems requiring close attention, like drugs, high crime, overcrowded jails, a possible water shortage and AIDS. Wouldn't it be better to channel our energies in these areas rather than the further restricting of smoking?

I recently became aware that the county health department is reviewing, at the request of the Board of Supervisors, a proposed smoking ordinance which, if approved, would make unrealistic changes in the ordinance currently enforced in San Diego County.

County Supervisor Leon Williams has submitted a proposal that directly affects how, when, and where an individual could smoke. These changes would include their workplace, restaurants, and even outdoor sporting events.

I honestly can't understand why so much valuable time and energy is being wasted on an issue that doesn't need further restrictions. Common sense and common courtesy, not government interference, has, and can easily continue, to settle differences between smokers and nonsmokers. Is it the only logical solution in handling this issue, to completely restrict where people can and cannot smoke? We are forgeting that smoking is NOT against the law, and sweeping change implemented by government is an approach that does not work.

Most people agree that the fairest solution is to have designated areas to accommodate both smoking and nonsmoking employees and customers. The current ordinance has worked beautifully, with only 34 smoking related complaints reported to the county health department over a three-year period, and only 12 were attributed to work sites and public places. It is easy to see that there is no public demand for stricter laws.

Why change something that works for all of us?



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