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Editorial: Hamot's ban should inspire Legislature

Publication Date: 11/20/2007
  • Author:Editorial
  • Publication:GoErie.com, PA

Every Pennsylvania legislator who remains hesitant about supporting a statewide smoking ban should consider the reason the entire Hamot Medical Center property became smoke free Thursday. Hamot's Tobacco-Free Task Force came to this decision and Hamot officials implemented a smoking ban to protect the health and welfare of the institution's employees, patients and visitors. In other words, everyone who steps on Hamot's property.

Not much deep thinking is required to approach this life-or- death issue on the state level. The Legislature should pass a smoking ban in the state's workplaces to protect the health and welfare of every Pennsylvanian.

If cautious House and Senate members under intense pressure from various interest groups hard at work in Harrisburg want to make this even simpler, try this: A statewide smoking ban is needed to save Pennsylvanians' lives.

The only real issue is health. House and Senate members can talk about Pennsylvania veterans' absolute right to smoke in their Veterans of Foreign Wars clubs or in American Legion halls, but then those same members must answer the question: What about the employees who work in those establishments?