After some deliberation, yesterday the smoking ban in our city became official.
That’s right. Smokers, light up somewhere else. But not in our workplaces, restaurants, sports facilities or most bars.And if bar owners or patrons even think about violating the ban?
They could be looking at up to $300 in fines. Hefty? Yes, but well worth it.
For too long, smokers have gotten away with poisoning the health of non-smokers and it’s about time they get checked.
What’s even better is the smoking ban here is not revolutionary. New York City set its ban last year, as did Columbus, Ohio. St. Paul, Minn., and Chicago followed suit, setting bans this year. So far nine states have full smoking bans in effect, including
Delaware. New Jersey is close behind, with casinos being the only exemption. Nine down, 41 to go.
Maybe City Council’s brave move this year will reinforce Temple’s own smoking policy on campus.
First introduced in February of last year, the ban has had a long, smoky path on its way to becoming a law that will benefit many of this city’s citizens who exhibit common sense by refusing to light up.
With this ban, everyone benefits. So bar owners, don’t despair. Many fear that the smoking ban will cause a huge revenue loss for some bars and restaurants.
However, a smoking ban passed in 2002 in El Paso, Texas, according to a Centers for Disease Control report, did not yield revenue losses for bars and restaurants in that city. So bars here can rest easy.
This summer, the Surgeon General released
a report on second-hand smoke which detailed the dangers of the deed.
In the press release this summer from the Surgeon General, Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt said “Smoking can sicken and kill, and even people who do not smoke can be harmed by smoke from those who do.”
Also according to the Surgeon General’s report, “Nonsmokers exposed to secondhand smoke at home or work increase their risk of developing heart disease by 25 to 30 percent and lung cancer by 20 to 30 percent.”
Three thousand non-smokers die annually
because of second-hand smoke according to the American Lung Association. Between 22,000 and 69,000 non-smokers die annually from heart disease that is directly linked to second-hand smoke.Need we say more?
Those who choose to exercise their rights by choosing not to smoke should not suffer from nonsensical decision making on the part of others.
The person sitting in the booth next to you at your local TGI Friday’s should not have a stake in determining the quality of your health.
Now, in Philadelphia, they won’t.