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OP-ED: Amidst hookah smoke: Delicious pizza
August 13, 2014, 05:00 AM By Bob Stine

Bob Stine

The Foster City Council made the news recently because of its efforts to ban smoking in most areas of Foster City. Although there seemed to be strong support for most of the proposal, a couple issues became more controversial, leading to newsworthy discourse.

Minor concerns were expressed about the proposal to make smoking illegal in apartments but not townhouses. Apparently, the council is concerned about protecting renters (but not homeowners) from the dangers of cigarette smoke. Unfortunately, it was pointed out that some townhouse owners rent their dwellings; what happens to the safety of those renters, living next door to the smokers legally smoking themselves to death and allowing their smoke to invade the homes of their hapless neighbors?

The real controversy, however, centered over the passionate desire of some councilmembers to include hookah smoke in the ban, the inclusion creating a fear of loss of business at the Waterfront Pizza business.

I had the opportunity to listen to the impassioned arguments from one of the councilmembers and a member of the Parks and Recreation Committee. These proponents of the ban assured me that the hookah smoke outside the restaurant was so egregious as to make it impossible for non-smokers to walk through the area. Not only would they be offended by the smell of the smoke, but they would surely be susceptible to cancer. That clearly made this a public safety issue!

I decided to visit the establishment to see for myself. I ordered a small “Waterfront Special” pizza and a beer and placed myself in the center of the danger zone — on the boardwalk with hookah smokers all around me. Much to my surprise, I discovered I couldn’t smell the smoke without some effort. I then noticed the smoke was being blown almost straight up into the atmosphere by the typical Foster City wind.

I subsequently asked my ban-proponent friend how often he thought people would have to walk through the area before the inevitability of contracting cancer would capture them. Unfortunately, I didn’t feel I got a valid answer from him.

The great outcome of this exercise is that I discovered what delicious pizza is available at Waterfront Pizza. I might not have ever discovered this delight if it wasn’t for the controversy created by the City Council. Thank you for introducing me to this fine establishment.

By the way, I’ve decided to live dangerously and leave my gas mask at home on future visits.

Bob Stine is a photographer who lives in San Mateo, but spends much of his time in Foster City. He is currently a member of the San Mateo County Civil Service Commission.

 

 

Tags: smoke, pizza, would, foster, smokers, their,


Other stories from today:

Life’s chances
Letter: Not all Arabs are ‘natives’
OP-ED: Amidst hookah smoke: Delicious pizza
 

 
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