Protect Local Control

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News Summary

Smoking ban for workplace

Publication Date: 6/15/2006
  • Author:Dan Kriwitsky
  • Publication:Sarasota Herald-Tribune

Regarding the letter Wednesday titled "Portion-size about choice" and its section on the smoking ban in restaurants:

The letter writer, like many people, does not understand that the constitutional amendment that brought about Florida's smoking ban is not just a restaurant smoking ban. It is a workplace smoking ban, and restaurants are simply another workplace. See: http://www.myflorida.com/dbpr/abt/rules_statutes/amendment6_faq.pdf

Restaurant employees are entitled to the same health protections as every other worker in the state. Employers don't get to choose to provide an unsafe workplace, be it through secondhand smoke or by not providing basic safety on a construction site. Employers can't post an "Unsafe workplace. Work at your own risk" sign.

It's unfortunate that the smoking regulations are not properly enforced and that it also was not a total indoor smoking ban in public places. Employees of bars that supposedly earn only 10 percent of their gross revenue from the sale of food consumed on the licensed premises are treated as second-class citizens deserving of less health and safety protection than other workers in Florida.