Smokefree DC is a citizen-based group whose goal is to promote smokefree environments in Washington, DC.

Leon Swain's questionnaire answers

The city’s smokefree workplaces law was weakened last summer when the Council agreed to allow cigar smoking at hotels for two events annually. The Council acted without holding hearings or seeking public input. Instead, the exemptions were tacked onto a budget amendment. Would you vote to remove the exemptions? Please explain why or why not. Yes [yes]
The city’s smokefree workplaces law was weakened last summer when the Council agreed to allow cigar smoking at hotels for two events annually. The Council acted without holding hearings or seeking public input. Instead, the exemptions were tacked onto a budget amendment. Would you vote to remove the exemptions? Please explain why or why not. (Comment) I believe no law(s) should be made without public review and input. For this reason, I would vote to remove the exemptions, then to address the matter with the public.
If elected, will you pledge not to further weaken the smokefree workplaces law? No [no]
If elected, will you pledge not to further weaken the smokefree workplaces law? (Comment) I suspect that the term “weaken” is relative here. So, after my own, and a public review, my position would be to find the law that best served and protected those on both sides of this issue.
Would you vote to strengthen the smokefree workplaces law to include outdoor cafes? What about parks and other recreational areas? (Outdoor cafes)
Would you vote to strengthen the smokefree workplaces law to include outdoor cafes? What about parks and other recreational areas? (Parks)
Would you vote to strengthen the smokefree workplaces law to include outdoor cafes? What about parks and other recreational areas? (Other recreational areas)
Please enter your comment about the above question here I would not vote for a unilateral all inclusive ban on smoking in these areas. However, I would vote for legislation that provided for certain areas to be designated for smokers. It is important to note that I want to protect people from the the harm of second hand smoke without infringing on the rights of others. Consequently, I would look to advanced technology for ways to best provide clean and safe air environments.
Would you vote to make secondhand smoke an actionable nuisance like excessive noise? (Doing so would make it easier for nonsmokers who suffer secondhand smoke encroaching in their apartments to take their smoking neighbors to court.) Yes [yes]
Would you vote to make secondhand smoke an actionable nuisance like excessive noise? (Doing so would make it easier for nonsmokers who suffer secondhand smoke encroaching in their apartments to take their smoking neighbors to court.) (Comment) But not before exhausting all technologies available to adequately contain and filter smoke.
Would you vote to increase funding for tobacco cessation programs in D.C.? Yes [yes]
Would you vote to increase funding for tobacco cessation programs in D.C.? (Comment) Absolutely. This is the answer. Helping people to quit versus attempting to impose a no smoking rule will produce a more balanced and sustained result.
Would you vote to increase the District’s tax on cigarettes? No [no]
Would you vote to increase the District’s tax on cigarettes? (Comment) I would have to review this matter with the aid of public input. At first look I do not believe that higher taxes will necessarily make people stop smoking; and I don’t believe it’s fair to use taxation as a form of punishment.
One of your constituents has called your office to inform you that secondhand smoke is coming into their condo or apartment.  Attempts to remedy the situation have gone nowhere. What would you say to the constituent? I would bring the two neighbors and the condo board president/property manager together first to see if we could find a resolution. And again, I would turn to technology for ways to correct the problem. If no resolution were found, I would engage a facilitator to work with all parties to find the best answers—understanding that neither side might be completely satisfied.