Protect Local Control

Ensuring Community Rights
To Pass Smokefree Ordinances
 

News Summary

Snuff out stogies

Publication Date: 7/22/2011
  • Author:Editorial
  • Publication:Boston Herald

Your editorial, "Bars go up in smoke" (July 18), correctly states that the 2004 smoke-free workplace law carves out an exception for cigar bars. However, it omits the fact that the law also gives cities and towns the right to decide if they want to apply that exception to their community.

The ability of local residents and officials to determine what is best for the health of their communities is the real issue here. Gov. Deval Patrick did the right thing in vetoing this assault on local authority and the Legislature should leave the original 2004 smoke-free workplace law as is. That law has contributed to reducing the smoking rate in Massachusetts to under 15 percent, saving countless lives and health care dollars.

The Legislature should focus instead on the more than $4 billion spent each year treating tobacco-related illness rather than glamorizing the deadly habit of cigar smoking.

Marcia Benes

Executive Director

Mass. Association of Health Boards