First of all, I am of the opinion that we are governed by too many laws and regulations already, butt [sic] I am at a point of bewilderment that I can no longer keep to myself. I hope to ignite some public discussion on the problem of smokers polluting the streets, sidewalks and gutters of beautiful La Jolla with their disgusting cigar and cigarette butt trash. This is not an assault on cigar and cigarette smokers. Pollute yourselves, I don’t care.
If the scientific fact, and it is fact, that smoking processed tobacco products will kill you in a slow and painful manner doesn’t connect with people that still choose to smoke, than puff away, I say. Smoke more. If there truly is a pleasure to smoking processed tobacco products, then I also say, take deeper drags for more pleasure, so more cancer- causing chemicals can draw deeper and deeper into your lungs and bloodstream. I honestly do not care if people choose to smoke. I respect personal rights too much to impose my beliefs on others.
This is one small part of the greatness of our country which allows us all to make the choices we want about our own health. I’m not even going to bring second-hand smoke issues into this. I will gladly shut my business door or roll up my car window — I’ll even happily cross the street to avoid breathing in the exhaled poison of a cigarette smoker.
My issue is with the disregard for the planet and our environment some, not all, smokers have with dropping their trash on the ground. Would this be any less an issue if we all still carelessly threw our trash on the ground like we did in the ’60s and ’70s? Does anyone remember the “crying Native American Indian” in those anti-trash ads? Like him, my eyes are tearing up for the cigarette butt issue.
I own a business on Prospect Street in La Jolla and today took an impromptu survey of the 100 feet of sidewalk adjacent to and in front of my building. On this stretch of 100 feet of sidewalk there are four trashcans. There are also 193, yes 193, cigar and cigarette butts polluting it. Does this collection of trash represent one person that has left 193 individual pieces of garbage on the ground or does this represent 193 individuals doing the same? How many “100 feet of sidewalks” like this are out there? How can this be an acceptable action by anyone? Why is it not as easy to extinguish your ‘grit and put it into a trashcan? I don’t understand. Are smokers too relaxed from the nicotine to stretch their arms out and drop their butt into any of the four trashcans?
All of my previous questions are rhetorical. They do not need to be answered. I invite anyone reading this to go onto the Internet and search Wikipedia.com for “outdoor smoking bans.” See what the rest of the country and the rest of world has had to resort to in an attempt to stop this disgusting habit some people have of polluting our environment with the trash produced by their disgusting habit.
To smokers I ask, “Will you please stop it?” or do we have to enact another law limiting everybody’s civil liberties more?
— Kent Horner is a La Jolla Village business owner.