Protect Local Control

Ensuring Community Rights
To Pass Smokefree Ordinances
 

Action Alert

MA Residents: Urge Senate to Uphold Governor's Veto on Cigar Bars

Publication Date: 7/26/2011

Recently, Governor Patrick vetoed preemptive tobacco bar language in the 2012 Massachusetts budget, which would have set a dangerous precedent of chipping away at local communities' right to adopt strong smokefree policies.

Gov. Patrick said, "I am vetoing this section because it prevents
local officials from protecting the public health of their citizens."

Unfortunately, there is an attempt to override the veto. The Senate may vote as early as this Thursday, July 28 to override the veto and maintain the harmful budget language.

How you can help:

blue arrowPlease call your state Senator today and ask him/her to sustain the Governor’s veto on Outside Section 197 about cigar bars. We do not want the Senate to vote to override the veto. If you know your Senator’s name you can find his/her phone number here (scroll down), or you can look up your Senator by your address.

Helpful facts:

-If the veto override succeeds, the 2012 budget would amend the state smokefree workplace law by forbidding the state’s three largest cities – Boston, Worcester and Springfield – from requiring current cigar bars to be smokefree.

-In 2004, Massachusetts became the 6th state to require that restaurants, bars and workplaces be smokefree.  The law has worked, improving the health of our citizens and reducing the health care costs caused by tobacco.

-That law gave our cities and towns the option of whether or not to allow “smoking bars,” and to date, 45 municipalities have already opted against having those establishments within their borders.  

-Outside Section 197 of the Budget would prevent our three largest cities (Boston, Worcester and Springfield) municipalities from banning cigar bars if they so choose.

-Cigar bars glamorize smoking at a time when the Department of Public Health reports that more Massachusetts youth smoke small flavored cigars and use smokeless products than smoke cigarettes.

-We shouldn't be expanding the number of places where smoking is permitted over the objections of local public health officials.

Thank you for taking action to protect local control in Massachusetts!

For additional information, you can also contact Stephen Shestakofsky, Executive Director of Tobacco Free Mass at 508-270-4652 or stephen.shestakofsky@cancer.org.