October 5, 2008
Mayor Gary Wheeler & Members of the City Council

Re: Dangerous Fumes

    I wrote you in December of 2006 regarding this same issue and even spoke at a board meeting but little has come of it.  My request was for adopting a local ordinance against smoking in public, i.e. declaring cigarette ‘smoke’ a hazardous substance.  The result of my last request was the letter was forwarded to the city attorney who said this, that and another thing but probably lawyer talk for it could be done.  That is good, it has already been passed (as I said before) in several towns in California and recently the COUNTRY of India banned smoking in all public places.  
      I understand we may have some nicotine addicts on the city council and I think it would only be fair that they stay out of all discussion & voting on the matter.  After all, they are part of the problem.  
    The situation right now is there is often a cloud bank of smoke at the entrances to many public buildings and places of business e.g. grocery stores.  Nothing like a whiff of noxious fumes to help you think of something good for supper.  How about the playground/parks?  Since my letter, you passed a law with something about underage smoking yet you can take your kid to the park and there the adults are sitting around puffing away teaching children to associate smoking with fun.
    I would be more than happy to resend my earlier request or I’m sure the people at ash.org would help you draft the legislation, the lawyers there do nothing but tobacco/nicotine related legislation and it probably wouldn’t cost you a dime.
    I appreciate your time and please contact me at any time if there is anything I can do.

Thank You

Gem Burke
1808 Roxy Ann Pl
Medford, OR 97504
December 15, 2006

Mayor Gary Wheeler

Re: Nicotine Addiction

I would like to propose a few changes to how we do business in the city of Medford.  I’m sure you have noticed the blue haze as you enter many of the establishment within the city.  Restaurant, malls, many business now that they have banned smoking (*and I’ll get to this later) and rightly so in their establishments the addicts line up outside the door to get their ‘hit’ of nicotine.  I’m sure you have even noticed the addicts get out of their car in the parking lot, light up their drug of choice and puff away to the door where they put out or sometimes don’t put out their cigarette at the door.  

I shouldn’t need to repeat the hazards of secondhand smoke yet subjecting people to daily doses of it for some reason seems entirely acceptable.  Why is that?

I would like to suggest that cigarette smoke be declared a PUBLIC NUISANCE.  Smoking should be banned anywhere it comes into contact with the public including outdoor public gatherings, parks and even the sidewalks.   For ***** sake, these people are addicts and are sucking down possibly the most addictive drug in the world.  WHY is it necessary for me to share?

* Which brings me to my other point.  I sincerely believe that it should no longer be referred to as “SMOKING” in any city communication but should be called what it is, nicotine addiction.

I must request any communication with me you identify yourself as a  “nicotine addict” or an ex-“nicotine addict” should either one apply.

The city of Belmont  and Calabasas, CA have enacted similar legislation.    Contact http://ash.org for free assistance should any be required writing such a law.

Thank you for your time.