Smoke and Mirrors

A ban on public smoking is clearly a positive factor in enhancing public health. However, actual enforcement of this ordinance is certain to be imposed disproportionately as a lever of gentrification and discrimination, rather than equally across the community.

I agree with Eugene City Councilor Emily Semple that any smoking ban should have been applied citywide. It is the essence of unfairness to allow opt-out exceptions for commercial interests in the downtown core, which will continue to expose the public to clouds of secondhand smoke wafting from the outdoor sidewalk seating downtown.

Public health excuses are directly at cross-purposes with the hypocrisy of these opt-outs.

Such inequitable citywide policy creates an ever-changing, honeycombed checkerboard of different jurisdictions across the city, all of which invite capricious enforcement. This ban has good intentions wrapped around a terrible policy formulation, a saccharine coating of altruism disguising less benevolent purposes.

Mike McFadden, Eugene