Policymakers Voice Support for Smoke-free Communities

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Smoke-free Laws are Progressive

Steve Gilmore, Mayor, Ashland, KY

On the passage of a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance: "I think we were certainly unanimous in that we felt it was a health issue… I’m proud of the commission. It’s a positive, progressive move." -- Kirschner, C., "City will go smoke-free," Daily Independent, August 25, 2006.


Smoke-free Laws Protect the Public Health

Carroll Smith, Judge-Executive, Letcher County, Kentucky, KY

Regarding his support of a smoke-free ordinance: "I would guess I've alienated some people, but I think it's a public health issue, and part of my duty is to protect the public." --Queller, L., "Smoking ban approved in Letcher County," Lexington Herald-Leader, April 12, 2006.


Larry Medina, former Mayor Pro Tem, El Paso, TX

"I [initially said] there was no way I would vote for another ordinance that would tell business owners how to run their businesses….I wanted to be on the right side of the issue. Even if it meant not being on the winning side… I learned the government has a duty and responsibility to protect the public's health." -- Sheridan, J. "Ex-El Paso official informs against public smoking." Texarkana Gazette, November 14, 2003.


Pat Evans, Mayor, Plano, TX

On a request to delay implementation of a smoke-free ordinance: "I can’t personally do that, because I think our job is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Plano. No one has the right to endanger anyone else’s health and safety.” --Hixson, J., "Council plans to stick with smoking ordinance," Courier-Gazette, August 15, 2007.


Smoke-free Laws are Good for Business

Phil Andrews, Councilmember, Montgomery County, MD

"Thousands of restaurant workers and hundreds of thousands of diners have benefited from the measure, which protects them from exposure to carcinogenic secondhand smoke…... Not only have sales at existing restaurants continued to rise over the past four years, but many new restaurants have opened during this period throughout the county. The law is working exactly as intended, protecting restaurant workers and diners at no cost to taxpayers. " --Spivack, M., "MoCo smoking ban praised on anniversary," Maryland Moment, October 10, 2007.


Jim Rowland, Former Councilmember, Kansas City, KS

"You have to keep in mind that whole countries, states and large cities are smoke-free. Cities like Boston and New York have had zero economic impact, which is always the biggest argument from restaurants and bars. These are cities with thriving entertainment and restaurant industries. Last time I checked, New York is still standing. …It’s a workplace safety issue." --Bamforth, K., "Voters to decide smoke-free ordinance in '08," Wednesday Sun KCCommunityNews.com, December 12, 2007.


Smoke-free Laws are Self-Enforcing

Gene Matthews, Mayor, Loganville, GA

"Since the ordinance has been in place, I have heard far more praises - 25 to one - than complaints. The enforcement is going well and while the City continues to monitor compliance, the law basically enforces itself.--City Of Loganville, “Georgia Recognized For Strong Smoke-free Law.” ANR Press Release, October 9, 2003.


Smoke-free Laws Protect the Rights of Workers and Patrons to Breathe Clean Air

Michael Bloomberg, Mayor, New York City, NY

"The problem with loopholes is that there are people that are working there, and I'm not quite sure how I could look one person in the eye and say your health isn't as important as someone else's… [W]e have to protect the workers. That's what this legislation is all about." --Edozien, F. "Bloomberg comes out smoking." New York Post, November 1, 2002.


Ron Latz, Senator, Golden Valley, MN

"No worker's health is less valuable than anyone else's; no worker's life is less valuable than anyone else's. Small business should be excited about this small step to help reduce costs on their bottom line." --Brunswick, M., "Votes put smoking ban in the governor’s hands," Star Tribune, May 12, 2007.


Coralin Feierbach, Mayor, Belmont, CA

"The right of the people to breathe fresh air supersedes the right of the smoker." -- Oremus, W., "Belmont passes tough anti-smoking law," San Jose Mercury News, September 12, 2007.


Smoke-free Laws Must Avoid Exemptions

John Royalty, City Council Member, Bardstown, KY

“If you allow exemptions, you will open Pandora’s box to challenges and law suits to your smoke-free law.” --Personal communication, June 15, 2010.