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Bars Allow Smoking

January 25, 1998

California bar owners who continue to permit smoking in their establishments are facing consequences much more serious than a possible citation. By allowing their employees to be subjected to secondhand smoke in direct violation of the law, they are inviting any employee who develops a recognized secondhand smoke-related disease to sue them for actual and punitive damages. The possibilities for financial ruin are impressive; the lawyers must love it!



* Finally, an opportunity for those of us who do not smoke to actually patronize a bar with breathable air! Let's hope it sticks. The law will not be made to work by fining or harassing smokers, but by positive action. I intend to patronize only those establishments that provide a smoke-free place where I can enjoy myself.

If other nonsmokers similarly encourage those who cooperate with the spirit of the law, we will soon find out whether the bar owners, as well as hapless nonsmoking customers, must remain hostage to the cynical products of the tobacco companies' addiction campaign.


Santa Monica

* So, some states and recently the federal government are suing the tobacco industry over tobacco related-health problems. Why stop there? Let's sue the alcohol industry for all the misery alcohol abuse has caused, let's sue the candy companies for our dental problems, let's sue fast-food chains for the problems of obesity.

When is the madness going to stop? We are litigating ourselves into paralysis! If I smoke, eat or drink too much, it is my fault, not some corporate entity's.



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