Letter: Tobacco bans

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The Independent Online
Sir: The anti-smoking law David Usborne calls "radical" ("California clears the air", 1 January), and compares with the Prohibition era, is in fact supported by a large majority of the population here, according to all the polls.

The last time California passed such a law was in 1994, when smoking in restaurants and workplaces was prohibited. At the time, pro-tobacco forces predicted Domesday for the state, and the restaurant business in particular. The fact is that now the state's economy is booming and restaurants are packed.

People will get used to the smoking ban in bars and clubs. They will go outside to light up, just as they do now when working or dining. And the odds are that ultimately, as the polls have shown with restaurants, even the majority of smokers will be glad the law was passed.


Inverness, California