Thursday, March 5, 2009

Smoking and Public Health...

Wednesday the legislature placed its seal of approval on a statewide smoking ban in most public places in the state, and the bill is ready to be sent to the governor’s desk, according to the Argus Leader.

Although there is little debate remaining about the dangers of smoking to an individuals’ health, there was heated debate over what the government’s role should be with regard to smoking in public places.

A ban will minimize the public’s exposure to smoke, sending a clear message: smoking is a public health risk. Rules are needed, at times, to protect people. And in the case of smoking, health consequences and their costs to the public are good reason to sign this bill into law.

Fortunately, many places have already taken this initiative and willingly banned smoking on their premises, which has also increased their business due to many people preferring the smoke-free environment. Cubby’s Sports Bar and Grill here in Brookings has seen increased business since it went smoke-free and many people are attracted to the smoke-free environment. Other businesses are also following suit, including O’Hare’s, in an effort to compete with Cubby’s. Buffalo Wild Wings in Sioux Falls has also voluntarily gone smoke free as well.

All have done so without government telling them to do so. So, you ask, why does state government have to put this into law? Because these model businesses are the exception. Please sign the bill, Governor. Thank you.

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