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State Smoking Rules Initiative

October 27, 1994

* I concur with The Times' portrait of Proposition 188 as tobacco's Trojan Horse (editorial, Oct. 15) and urge that voters pitch Philip Morris' glossy flyers into wastebaskets unread.

Big dollars for tobacco industry PR and confusing wording could lead unwary voters to act contrary to their own beliefs. Most can agree that tobacco is bad for the health. Moreover, Proposition 188 specifically shelves stricter state and local laws already on the books. Do we wish to roll back hard-fought-for progress?

Similar experiences in my role as water district director have led me to a wary attitude vis-a-vis corporate self-interest as it may impact sound public policy decision-making. Recent efforts by Philip Morris subsidiary Miller Brewing Co. have increased (water reclamation) project costs to local taxpayers by forcing the district to defend a not well-founded California Environmental Quality Act challenge of our district's project environmental impact report.

The suit delays a critical project designed to limit the need for pricey future water importations from the Colorado River into the San Gabriel Valley; essentially drought-proofing the area. The project has garnered environmental community support and support from the L.A. County Medical Assn., Metropolitan Water District and others. Our local attempt to implement both state and federal policy guidance has been frustrated by an uncompromising wall of corporate decision-makers motivated by greedy self-interest and no concern for the needs of the larger community.


Upper San Gabriel Valley Municipal

Water District, West Covina

* Proposition 188 is not just about the rights of smokers or nonsmokers. It is about all of our personal rights. If anyone had predicted 10 years ago how intrusive government would become in our daily lives, no one would have believed him.

If we continue to allow our individual rights to disappear one by one, we will surely be living in a police state. When government is allowed to dictate to private business, would it not be possible that it could also dictate as to what goes on in our homes, how much fat we could consume, or how much exercise we must engage in?

We are being led down the primrose path "for our own good" based on flawed research. We are not only accepting of these dictates, we are embracing them. Please, if you are a smoker or a nonsmoker, vote yes on Proposition 188. Let's send a message to government and say, "Stop. You have gone too far."


Santa Ana

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