New York City has approved a bill banning smoking in most public places. The ban contains certain common-sense exemptions, such as already existing cigar bars and bars with enclosed smoking rooms.
The bill has been at the forefront of Mayor Michael Bloomberg's 2002 agenda and, despite early controversy, sailed through city council by a 42-7 vote, with two abstentions.
As the lopsided vote suggests, any controversy surrounding the bill subsided when, after many public hearings, it became indisputable that the ban was in the best interest of the health of the city's residents, children, and workers.
In fact, by the time council voted on the measure the only real outcry arose from a small gaggle of crackpots who, “brandishing signs and shouting slogans about their rights being trampled by the legislation, puffed away outside in the cold, lounging next to a giant cigarette with a crude message to Mr. Bloomberg written on it.”
I urge Toledo Mayor Jack Ford, in his campaign for elegance, to follow Mayor Bloomberg's lead and put a similar ban at the top his 2003 agenda.
One would hope that, once the facts are aired in public hearings, the majority of our councilmen would also conclude that smokers' “rights” are outweighed by the rights of nonsmokers and those with respiratory difficulties to breathable air.
It is time for Ohio to become a smoke-free state. I am very passionate about a smoke-free environment and it is becoming harder and harder to find one. We all are aware of the health hazards posed by second-hand smoke.
It seems to me that the probability of passing smoke-free legislation would be a slam dunk given that only about one-third of the population are smokers. Non-smokers are the majority.
The state of Florida just passed a smoke-free law last November that will go into effect in June. Our elected officials should introduce similar legislation to give Ohioans the same opportunity to breathe clean, smoke-free air that Floridians will soon have.
JAMES F. WEBER
A Dec. 17 letter failed to make a very basic and important distinction between Christianity and the practices of some who have committed violence in its name.
There is nothing violent about Christ's life, teachings, deeds, or the religion that He established.
The “sins of violence” are not those of Christianity. They belong to some who claimed to be Christians.
Whether the letter writer knew it or not, she's talking about two different things.
SABRY FAWZY GOHARA
I commend the city of Maumee for tackling the Las Vegas-based X/O Club and its high-priced attorneys in their bid to open this “gentlemen's club” on Dussel Road. This site is totally inappropriate for this type of behavior. I'll bet most of the “gentlemen” who support this sort of business by their attendance have or have had a daughter near the same age as those being exploited and on display. Wouldn't you think this might bother them?