Re: “Pierce judge says no to cigar smoking at VIP Lounge” (TNT, 4-24).
The online comments regarding the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s court-ordered injunction temporarily closing El Gaucho’s “Private Cigar Lounge,” are mostly negative.
As much as we citizens agree or disagree on this action, the health department is doing its job. It is a regulator organization that protects the public’s health. I am glad for our right to free speech and a government agency that is not afraid to take a stand to enforce our laws.
In November 2005, Washington voters passed Initiative 901 to protect the citizens from the effects of second-hand smoke. It banned smoking in restaurants, bars, bowling alleys and skating rinks.
The TPCHD believes the law is being broken because three employees (called “owners”) are being subjected to secondhand smoke and the public is being invited into the purported private cigar lounge at the owners’ discretion. It is appropriate that this is going to court as this is a potential slippery slope challenging the law state voters overwhelmingly supported in 2005.
Instead of hurling derogatory comments at the TPCHD, I applaud its actions and appreciate its employees’ willingness to put themselves in the line of fire to uphold our laws.