Focus on vehicle exhaust threat

CRD needs to look at relative harm from vehicles, second-hand cigarette smoke

Re: Single-occupant vehicles more toxic than smokers (Letters, Oct. 25)

I find it ironic that pot smokers want to make their habit non-criminal at the same time the Capital Regional District is at war with tobacco smokers.

Don’t they know that as legal smokers they will join the outcasts of society?

As Ms. Peets rightly points out, the World Health Organization has determined that vehicle emissions are as toxic and dangerous as tobacco smoke. We all knew this.

People committing suicide often use vehicle exhaust to end their lives. At my RCAF base in Germany, a diesel exhaust pipe into a cardboard box ended the lives of birds caught in traps at each end of the runway, bird strikes being a serious problem for aircraft.

Given the vast amount of vehicles at shopping malls and rolling down the highway, smoking bans at malls and bus shelters make no sense, except as a feel-good PR exercise. I don’t think malls will ban polluting vehicles, or the CRD will now advise us of the safe distance from the passive fumes of vehicles.

As I progress through the city, contentedly smoking my pipe, I am constantly accosted by individuals who remark that they like the smell. On very rare occasions, I get a negative reaction to my smoke. I like the ones best when the very sight of my pipe sends someone into an exaggerated and phoney coughing fit. I find it amusing when the individual is upwind of me, or better still, when my pipe isn’t even lit.

Take note CRD. The WHO’s report on the dangers of vehicle emissions has completely changed the game. The restrictions on outdoor smoking enacted by the CRD are now quite redundant. Further rules imposed on the issue of outdoor smoking will appear vindictive and foolish, unless there is similar action taken against vehicles.

There is a book called The Death of Common Sense. I recommend it to the CRD board.

John M. Tolley

Victoria