SOURCE: Int'l Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Assoc.

September 09, 2008 22:14 ET

L.A. Publisher Leads Fight Against New Anti-Smoking Proposals

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - September 9, 2008) - "Smokers are not criminals." Those are the words of Rich Perelman, Los Angeles-based publisher, as he leads the battle against a motion by Los Angeles City Councilman Bernard Parks to criminalize and ban smoking essentially everywhere in the City of Los Angeles and a resolution to ban smoking throughout the county.

"Imagine a Los Angeles police officer interrogating you if you were smoking a cigarette, cigar or pipe in the hallway of your apartment building, on a street corner, in a parking lot or in back of your office building, in the open air," suggested Perelman. "If Councilman Parks has his way, the officer will be able to cite you, or even arrest you, for using a legal product: tobacco."

Perelman is a principal in Perelman, Pioneer & Company, publishers of several cigar publications and producer of CigarCyclopedia.com

"It's time for everyone -- smokers and non-smokers alike -- to take a stand against these kind of politically motivated actions that seek to make criminals of nearly 400,000 smokers in the city of Los Angeles and up to a million people countywide," he said.

Perelman cited a recent study presented by a Louisiana State University environmental chemistry professor at the 236th National Meeting of the American Chemical Society showing that pollution resulting from burning everything from coal in fuel power plants to the wood in gourmet pizza ovens contributes to the creation of ailments for which smoking alone is currently blamed among non-smokers and smokers alike.

"People should stop blaming second-hand smoke from tobacco products for every ailment, especially in outdoor settings," Perelman said. "Even the Surgeon General's 2006 Report -- which has been twisted and misrepresented by anti-smoking forces and the news media -- says virtually nothing about outdoor smoking and makes no claims that outdoor second-hand smoke is a health hazard."

The Parks proposal also ignores several Constitutional amendments, Perelman maintains.

"Incidental second-hand smoke -- especially outdoors -- is not nearly as risky as everyone surrendering their constitutional rights to legislators who are desperate to advance their own political careers," he said. Parks is currently running -- and by all accounts, losing -- for a Los Angeles County Supervisor position against California State Senator Mark Ridley-Thomas.

Perelman has created a website dedicated to fighting Parks' proposals -- www.WeAreNotCriminals.com.

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