This document is the last of three, concerning a so-called "smoking initiative" presented to the California public by the tobacco lobby. It is part of our EXAMPLES IN THE ART OF COMPLAINING book.
The initiative was roundly defeated when the vote came, due in large part, I think, to letters like this that began to appear all around the state in a variety of newspapers.
If memory serves me correctly, it was the most money (or nearly so) spend on a failed initiative in California history. We now have a very smoke-free state with no smoking in workplaces, restaurants, stores, and most other public-usage buildings (except bars...)
North County Blade Citizen
South Coast Newspapers
341 S. Cedros Ave.
Solana Beach CA 92075
October 15th, 1994
To The Editor:
If Prop 188, the smoking industry's hypocritical attempt to remove local anti-smoking ordinances passes, it will be a sad day for California.
It will not prove that the people want Philip Morris and the rest of the tobacco industry to decide how we should run our state.
Rather, it will prove that Californians have not been paying enough attention to what's happening in and around our government, have not been paying enough attention to their blessed right to enact propositions, and most importantly, it will prove that millions of dollars and a glitzy and dishonest ad campaign can still buy and dupe the voting public. I was duped when I first heard about it.
My biggest fear is that many people will first hear about it while they are in the voting booth. That could have serious health consequences for the citizens of this state.
Last spring I received a phone call by someone asking if I would vote for a "tough statewide anti-smoking bill." Naturally I said that I would. But what was sent to me to sign was neither tough, nor even anti-smoking. And the cover letter said that I had "promised to sign" the enclosed petition!
Like heck I "promised" anything! I doubt that anyone would have "promised" to sign a petition which they had not yet had a chance to read. Indeed, upon reading it, at first I thought I would sign it "as a good first step." But my wife read it and pointed out that it preempts local regulations.
I believe that Prop. 188 would never have made it to the ballot box had it not been presented from the start in a crafty and dishonest manner. I wrote to the address that sent me the petition, (there were no full names anywhere) asking who sponsored them, and asking why in the world an anti-smoking group would want to preempt effective local legislation? I never received a reply.
Prop. 188 is a bad idea. It is presented by dishonest people. If you are sick of the tobacco industry's lies, vote NO on Prop. 188.
The Animated Software Company
Last modified March 27th, 1997.
Webwiz: Russell D. Hoffman
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