Monday, March 20, 2006

"Toxic air contaminant"

The Toxic Avenger visits the California town of Calabasas:
The California town of Calabasas led the western world by imposing a ban on public smoking yesterday, provoking celebration, bemusement and anger among its residents.

Many were not surprised that the young town, a wealthy enclave just shy of its 15th birthday and known for environmentally progressive laws, would pass such a measure.

[..] In only six months what began as a teenager's suggestion that the council do something about smokers outside a shopping mall has evolved into the West's first ban on smoking in public other than in a few special "outposts".

The people of Calabasas can no longer light up in the street, in parks, bus stops, by office entrances or even on their own balcony if it overlooks communal areas such as swimming pools.

[..] Smokers will be banished to "designated smoking areas", outposts indicated by a large green sign with a hand holding a lighted cigarette.

These must be at least 20 feet from any "path, doorway or place where people congregate" and must be removed if anyone complains.

Smokers caught lighting up anywhere else will be warned and handed cards outlining the new law. Persistent offenders risk fines of up to $500 (£284).
If this town is truly progressive, they will ban motorized vehicles and force people to walk. The war against obesity will also benefit from such measures.