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EDITORIAL: Keep smoking ordinance authority local

Publication Date: 2005-04-08
  • Author:Editorial
  • Publication:(Ashland, WI) Daily Press
There is presently a bill circulating through the state legislature called the "Smoke Free Dining Act." That's a good-sounding name. It makes one think the state is looking at backing an effort to ban smoking in restaurants. Unfortunately, that's not the case.

What the "smoke-free dining" act really does is take away the ability of local governments to decide what kind of smoking policies they want for their community...

Who stands to gain the most from this bill? Big tobacco. In fact, tobacco industry internal memos document a strategy of taking away local control of smoking ordinances as being effective in keeping cigarettes in the hands of diners ­ and the smoke from those cigarettes in the lungs of the unfortunate person sitting nearby. This bill should stay in a smoky back room, where it belongs.