"Things start in Los Angeles and California and spread across the nation. That's why we're here."
That's why CRA Executive Vice President Jeff Borysiewicz, owner of the Corona Cigar shops in Orlando, Florida, flew cross-country on October 16, 2008 to join a team of cigar manufacturers, store owners and supporters at a face-to-face meeting with Los Angeles Councilman Tom LaBonge and anti-tobacco activists over two new smoking bans proposed by other Council members.
The first is a ban on smoking in outdoor dining areas of restaurants, proposed by Councilman Grieg Smith and the second is a motion by Bernard Parks to "enact a second-hand smoking law effective throughout the City which would limit public exposure to secondhand smoke in all public areas and common areas where people congregate including, but not limited to, but not limited to indoor and outdoor businesses, hotels, parks, apartment common areas, restaurants and bars, and beaches." This latter motion would essentially criminalize about 384,000 citizens of the City of Los Angeles for using a legal product: tobacco.
The Smith motion threatens the relatively few restaurants which still allow smoking outdoors, since smokers make up only 14% of the population of Los Angeles County. If the Parks motion were to become law as drafted, his ban would:
- Eliminate smoking in all cigar shops in the City of Los Angeles
- Eliminate smoking on the streets of Los Angeles
- Eliminate smoking in all outdoor areas, such as the patios or lawns of hotels
- Eliminate cigar smoking in outdoor areas of restaurants
- End cigar events as we know them in the entire City of Los Angeles
- Eliminate smoking in common areas of apartment buildings
We will continue to monitor this issue and update our website.