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Editorial: The butt stops here / Philadelphia goes after indoor smoking

Publication Date: 2005-01-24
  • Author:Editorial
  • Publication:Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Last week Mayor John Street of Philadelphia caused a stir when he said that one of his priorities for the city this year would be a ban on smoking in public places...

In the 21st century who could argue that society should not reduce, indeed eliminate, a health scourge that accounts for much of the nation's heart disease, cancer and respiratory illness? The tobacco, tavern and restaurant industries -- that's who. They were instrumental in securing the pre-emption clause in Pennsylvania law that prevents local communities from having tougher indoor smoking controls than the state.

But health laws should protect people's lungs, not enrich corporate lobbyists. Mayor Street is right to try to curb the death-dealing smoke. We wish him success and, better yet, hope the movement catches fire in Pittsburgh.