With all due respect to headline writers everywhere, I have huge issues with “City enters fight with hospital smokers” (The Leader, Dec. 11).
As a lifelong anti-tobacco activist (as opposed to an anti-smoker), it is tobacco smoke that I dislike and, even more than that, the tobacco industry that I absolutely despise and am working hard to put out of business.
That said, smokers who choose to blissfully ignore clearly and long-established no-smoking laws must be dealt with, and all that is required is just a little bit of effort by Surrey bylaw enforcement.
If they enforced the no-smoking bylaw just 10 per cent as aggressively and efficiently as they enforce the parking bylaw, the problem would be solved once and for all, virtually overnight.
And hey, let’s not forget, those city coffers (not to be confused with coughers) could always use a little extra cash.
Getting back to the headline – any and all efforts to eliminate public smoking have nothing whatsoever to do with “fighting with smokers.” That mentality plays right into the hands of Big Tobacco, which loves nothing more than to see “the fight” between non-smokers (and bylaw enforcement officers et al) and smokers, while they go about their dirty killing business when, in fact, non-smokers and smokers should be united. We are all victims of the tobacco industry.
In the meantime, kudos to Glen Morris, David Thiele and everyone else who has complained and taken action to bring this serious and widespread public health matter to light.
It’s not complicated, folks. Attention bylaw enforcement: Simply enforce the bylaw (what a concept) and the problem is solved.
Errol E. Povah, president
Airspace Action on Smoking and Health