Letters to the Editor

Your views in 200 words or less

SMOKING: Health department rightly enforces law

Letter by Heidi Henson, Gig Harbor / The News Tribune on May 3, 2010 at 1:46 pm with 9 Comments »
May 3, 2010 1:46 pm

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.

Leave a comment Comments → 9
  1. frosty says:

    If the Health Department is looking for something to keep themselves busy, maybe they should go out and start inspecting the many mobile taco trailers and campers that are sprouting up all over the place. I personally would never eat anything from one of these “roach coaches”, because I’m not sure how they maintain any semblance of sanitation when they are serving food from a trailer without running water or toilet facilities. When I inquired to the Health Dept. I was told that they use the facilities in the neighboring business. O really? Take a drive around and look for yourself. But oh, lets keep people from lighting up in a bar where all of the adults in there have no problem with it. Get real!

  2. We have a unique county. All they have done is drive revenue away from the private businesses that pay taxes to the reservation businesses. Right in Fife you have a cigar bar. It’s on “tribal” land, so it’s legal. The Puyallup tribe was all for the smoking ban. Up and down Fife/Milton one side of the street has a bar that can’t allow smoking, the one on the other side of the street allows it because they are tribal. The health department is stupid. The ventilation system is amazing, they figured out a way to legally skirt the law by having only the owners of the seperate business serve in it. Get a life, maybe pass a law not allowing people to smoke in their cars if children are in the cars-something that could actually protect a childs health. If big boys and girls want to smoke a cigar-let them.

  3. Frosty-if you are in Puyallup, check out the Taco Bus that is next to the Exxon gas station on South Hill. You walk into it, the back half is the kitchen. Food is amazing, and everything is so clean! All shining stainless. You can watch the guys and gals prepare your food. If you want to have a beer, the deck next to it is a legal bar, so you can sit outside, have a Corona and some real authentic Mexican food prepared is a super clean environment:)

  4. TMell , No thanks, I’d like to see something in there that tells me that they are in compliance with food service standards and something that tells me when they were last inspected. The one you mentioned may be fine but there’s many others around that I’d be suspicious of.

  5. penumbrage says:

    I save my derogatory remarks to hurl at the incompetent legislators who can’t manage to protect the rights of those who worry about second hand smoke without violating the rights of those who don’t.
    The only people being protected by banning smoking in cigar bars/lounges/smoke shops (where all parties exposed are unconcerned about the risk, signed waiver on file if need be) are the smoke sensitive people dim enough to walk into a clearly marked smoking area and brain dead enough not to turn around and walk back out when they smell smoke.
    Do we really have so many of these poor, defective souls that we can make no provision in the law for smokers to congregate?

  6. donjames says:

    penumbrage says:
    “Do we really have so many of these poor, defective souls that we can make no provision in the law for smokers to congregate?“

    Sadly, yes… and they vote too.

  7. Roncella says:

    Oh the irony of Liberal/Progressive thinking. They have battered and regulated smokers to standing in the rain and cold to have a smoke. They have taxed and taxed and taxed cigarettes, cigars to the hilt. Even bar rooms clearly marked as Cigar smoking areas are banned.

    What will the liberals do, when finally they have dried up the revenue from all the taxes on cigarettes, as more and more folks quit smoking. Will they then start taxing candy bars, or potato chips, fast food burgers from Mc Donalds and Taco Bell etc. all this for their social programing dreams of taking care of us from birth to death.

  8. tubbythetuba says:

    My, Liberals are Oh, so much smarter than regular citizens. I’m sure glad they are there holding my hand because I’m a dummy that can’t recognize what’s good for me…… *rolleyes* & LOL

  9. tubbythetuba says:

    BTW, there’s three full time jobs that could be filled by smokers that don’t really care if they are around smoke, or not.

We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0