Wednesday, February 13, 2008
"You Gotta Be Cruel To Be Kind," my foot
In case you don't read Foothill Cities Blog or Curbed LA, Pomona flunked its Clean Air Exam -- the only city in Southern California to get a dunce cap.
Turns out that the invigilator, the American Lung Association, isn't grading us on particulate matter, or heavy metals, or anything like that, but the city's anti-smoking efforts. I guess the ALA only cares about tar and nicotine, not sulfur dioxide or airborne cadmium.
Too often, smoking is a class issue. I don't know enough about the revenue sources of other LA County municipalities, but I note that Baldwin Park -- which I think of as a "working" class city (lord, I hate that term -- like the middle class doesn't work?) -- got an A on the test.
Nonetheless, I just don't see a big campaign to get our citizens to quit smoking as a good use of our very limited city resources, and that goes double for passing (and, more importantly, enforcing) a law preventing people from having a smoke in their usual venues.
Our Fair City has a lot of down-on-their-luck denizens. They know as well as anyone that they shouldn't smoke; they know it's killing them (and that cigs are expensive). Spending city dollars to keep them from smoking seems just plain mean.