18 August 2006

Going Smoke Free

Anchorage is going smoke free.

What I really like about this decision is how far-reaching the ordinance is (although I think opponents do have some legitimate concerns about the "baby-sitter clause"). That being said, why the long wait? I can see some time being necessary but nearly a whole year?

Here's the real question, though - if Anchorage can do it, why don't other parts of the state follow suit? I was driving to Teller to the other day and we started talking about smoking bans. All of us in the truck were non-smokers but I was surprised at the vehemence with which we all hated smoking in bars. It wasn't just a sort of, "oh yeah, that's annoying but what can you do about it"; it was a full-throated, "I hate smelling like smoke and smoke-free bars are so much nicer" type of feeling. The population of smokers is rapidly diminishing. When will bars stop making their establishments havens for all of them when there is clearly some latent wishes for a smoke-free environment?

If the Nome Common Council can talk about banning plastic bags, surely they can talk about a smoking ordinance?

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