Alex Blaze

Smoking banned outside

Filed By Alex Blaze | August 03, 2010 7:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Quote of the Day

"Sadly, smoking is widespread in the LGBT community.

As a leader in LGBT health, the Center feels strongly that we should set an example within our community."

--Susan Cohen, director of the Health Education & Prevention department at the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center, on the center banning smoking outside the building

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I have to say while I disagree with smoking in general, I also don't think it's right to further alienate people coming to a center for support. Should we deny alcoholics from entering the center if they were seen at a bar in the past week? Will they ban couples with co-dependency issues from coming there together?

If the center really wants to help, they should offer a smoking cessation program targeted at their membership. That would go a lot farther in fixing the problem then shewing them away from the center and making them feel like a pariah in their own community.

Agreed, and this particularly impacts transpeople as we have a very high percentage of smokers in our community. A community center that bans smoking is also banning smokers. For a center that caters to the LGBT population this is an especially bad and ill-considered idea.

Since most transfolks smoke, most won't use the center. Since most transfolks won't use the center, there won't be much far transfolks to do there. Then all the non-smoking gays and lesbians will all have a nice, squeaky-clean community center which the people who need it most won't bother to use. Now won't that be special?

I lived in LA for 14 yrs, and the 'health nazi's' are among the many reasons I left and have never missed the place one bit. Trust me; I would never have gotten HIV tested there in 1986 if I didn't think I could collapse in the parking lot with a cigarette in the event my result was positive. That might sound like weird priorities, but back then, I was certain I was negative and entirely ambivalent about being tested at all. Turns out, I tested positive. Rates vary widely, but approximately 15% of the population smokes to some degree on a daily basis.
And yes; rates are higher for gays. And now; in this nations smoggiest city; they're gonna ban smoking OUTDOORS? Ridiculous! Maybe when they note a 15% drop in donations they'll come down off their high horse? But maybe not? Given the entrenched snobbery of LA, perhaps they'll next start alienating people who can't produce a gym membership card?

lee sonoflaw | August 4, 2010 11:16 AM

I get tired of do-gooders who decide for me that I should not do something and try to force it on me. I am not a smoaker, but I find this offensive. What ever happened to the idea of personal freedom, personal responsibility, and "liberty"???
We sound more like the consservative republicans every day. "You can have freedom of choice, as long as you choose what "WE" consider proper"