Friday, February 20, 2009

R.J. Reynolds helped build the city of Winston-Salem, N.C. Just repeating the city's name invokes two of the world's most popular cigarette brands. You can't get any deeper into tobacco country. Knowing all that helps you appreciate the drama associated with a Feb. 15 editorial in the Winstom-Salem Journal backing legslation that would ban smoking in virtually all enclosed workplaces and buildings open to the public in North Carolina. In a piece signed by the Journal Editorial Staff, the paper declared:

"The tobacco industry has put food on our tables; it built our hospitals, colleges and churches and supported our charities. Tobacco has been a proud, hard-working way of life for everyone from farmers to factory workers, a way of life we have long supported on this page.

"But starting today, with the full gravity of overwhelming medical evidence against second-hand smoke weighing on our judgment, we must break with the past and support further restrictions against smokers, in the interest of public health."

Strong stuff.

1 Comment:

  1. snowbird said...
    An alternative to smoking bans

    It is clear that separation of smokers from non-smokers combined

    with air exchange technology is a complete solution to this largely

    artificial problem. All it takes is regulating authorities setting the

    standards for indoor air quality on passive smoke, and the technology

    does the rest. Such air quality standards are common in industrial

    and environmental contexts. But, to date, no country in the world has

    set them for smoking areas. It seems clear that the reasons are not

    scientific, nor are they economic or technical: they are political.

    As to the annoyance of smoking, a compromise between smokers and non-smokers
    can be reached, through setting a quality standard and the use of modern
    ventilation technology.

    Air ventilation can easily create a comfortable environment that removes not
    just passive smoke, but also and especially the potentially serious
    contaminants that are independent from smoking.

    Thomas Laprade

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