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Tuesday, June 20, 2006 | Regarding the column “Smoking Stamped Out at City Beaches, Parks” By Andrew Donohue. It is a sorry state of affairs when our beleaguered city council commits into law an anti-litter law concerning smoking tobacco on city beaches.

One may ask why the “litter law” did not include the consumption of fast foods such as tacos, burgers and franks.

Various toxic effects have been cited, including observing cigarette filters in the sand by asthmatics. Get real here. San Diego is not the enclave of Del Mar, or Santa Monica. The same anal-retentive activists seem to wish to impose restrictions on personal activities when their basis for this law is actually a result of careless personal behavior, not the behavior itself, which basis carries the anti-tobacco imprimatur.

“Second-hand smoke,” at a beach? Get real! What level of particulate matter per cubic-meter of air are the proponents referring to? What particulates? At what velocity of motion of the air parcel? Detecting the odor of burning tobacco from a distance of fifteen-feet on a beach is entirely different than having a smoker blow smoke into one’s face.

There exist many remedies to the litter problem, if compliance is observed. There are even aluminum-lined pouches in which to discard/preserve cigarettes and cigars. Burger wrappers can go into any supermarket bags and disposed of later – if the consumer is so inclined. Or thrown into the sand as are most wrappers, plastic “six-pack” holders, baby diapers, napkins, condoms, and feminine products.

“Peters said that for him, it was not an issue about second hand smoke or sending messages to children.

“It’s abundantly a litter problem in my district,” he said.

This “anti-beach-smoking” law is a canard. Well, now, wait a minute…with the city needing revenues…

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