Weatherford Democrat

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February 23, 2014

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: No-smoking ban should include all workplaces

No-smoking ban should include all workplaces

Dear Editor,

I am writing as a concerned citizen and a volunteer of the American Heart Association. I am voicing my support for a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance that would cover ALL employees in any worksite in Weatherford.

I have spent a great amount of time in restaurants and workplaces where secondhand smoke is prevalent. Understanding the negative effects of secondhand smoke, I am a firm believer that smoke-free workplaces are necessary.

It is a fact that secondhand smoke is a health hazard. It contains more than 4,000 chemicals and can lead to many health problems, including heart disease, cancer, respiratory infections and asthma.

As a Texan, I believe that I have the right to breathe clean air in restaurants, bars and other workplaces. I do not choose to smoke and therefore should not have to be exposed to smoke when I am in public.

Evidence shows that strong smoke-free laws that cover all workplaces including restaurants and bars are effective at reducing the risk of secondhand smoke exposure. In fact, laws that support strong smoking ordinances prove to have no adverse effect to the revenue of business owners.  Consequently they have improved the health of the employees and communities tremendously. 

The city council of Weatherford has asked city officials to propose a smoke-free ordinance. I urge constituents to express their desire for an ordinance that includes ALL workplaces. 

Fifty years after the first Surgeon General’s report we have learned that the estimated increase in risk for stroke from exposure to secondhand smoke is about 20 percent to 30 percent.

Furthermore, the Surgeon General’s report states that, “the evidence is sufficient to infer a causal relationship between the implementation of a smoke-free law or policy and a reduction in coronary events among people younger than 65 years of age.”

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The City of Weatherford is considering an ordinance that would ban smoking inside restaurants and enclosed areas where food is prepared, sold or consumed. Do you agree with this proposal?

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