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One Councilman's Dissent Over Anti-Smoking Plan

September 05, 1993

It's time to get the story straight regarding the city's failed anti-smoking charade.

Your Sept. 2 article incorrectly reports the unanimous adoption of the Long Beach anti-smoking ordinance. In fact, the ordinance was approved Aug. 4 over my dissenting vote (7-1). My objection at the time was an inadequate definition distinguishing a bar (where smoking is allowed) and a restaurant.

After rejecting my appeal to schedule a Nov. 2 election to validate the new City anti-smoking ordinance, the City Council duplicated its ineffective anti-smoking ordinance adoption process leading to an invalidating petition by over 31,000 registered voters. Now I note an effort to slightly modify the anti-smoking ordinance to circumvent all of those signatures.

That's nothing less than a scam! City government, for whatever purpose, has no business unfairly manipulating the referendum system to dodge a vote.

But, unfortunately, instead of a November election consolidated with the statewide ballot, the soonest smoking can be eliminated from Long Beach restaurants is the April, 1994, municipal election with its predicted small voting turnout.

Tobacco interests will now have an opportunity to target the Long Beach municipal election while most city leaders are preoccupied with their own election campaigns.

This leaves the door open for heavy-spending tobacco interests to flood local mailboxes with false claims about the hospitality industry job and economic losses resulting from the new anti-smoking regulations.

About all that the Long Beach City Council's efforts have accomplished is more smoke, both political and carcinogenic in Long Beach.

WARREN HARWOOD

Councilman

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