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.


Ed said...

From the ALA report, it looks like they were comparing the cities on municipal code ordinances. Although perhaps useful, I can't help but think that cities have multiple ordinances on the books which are never enforced.

Here's a rundown: of the 88 LA county cities examined by the ALA, 40 received F, and of the 34 Orange County cities examined, 29 received F. I always thought Pomona reminded me of Orange County.

Would anyone be surprised to know that the Daily News (the original news story link) is a sister paper of the Daily Bulletin? At least, the Daily Bulletin didn't waste print on this bit of (news?).

Anonymous said...

There are two big annual ALA Report Cards -- one on tobacco control, the other is on outdoor air pollution.

The outdoor air pollution just measures for ground level ozone and particulates.

Garrett Sawyer said...

I smoke, I'm lower middle class (thats to say people really care about classification). I do my best to not offend others, I don't litter (a lot of smokers in Pomona just throw butts down) and I also on occasion pick up handfuls of butts whenever I'm not in a hurry (especially downtown) and throw them away in the nearest trash receptical. That doesnt excuse my smoking but it helps me keep thinking about quitting. As a neat freak, it's not something a neat freak would want to be part of but somehow I managed to start. I wish people would just throw way their butts after they have properly extinguished them into an actual trash can or outdoor ashtray. That alone would make Pomona better...