Letters to the Editor

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SMOKING: Ban aims at protecting workers

Letter by Catherine Oleson, Spanaway on Dec. 13, 2010 at 1:45 pm | 10 Comments »
December 13, 2010 2:16 pm

To those who have written about El Gaucho and its now-forbidden cigar room: I’ve read the letters on this topic, and, while all or nearly all of these writers repeat the mantra that the indoor cigar smokers at this restaurant aren’t bothering anyone else or aren’t hurting anyone, no one has mentioned the wait-staff, cleanup staff, stockers and various others who must work in that environment.

Unlike the customers, who presumably expect to come in for an hour or two once in a while, the workers must remain in that smoke-filled room for most of the duration of their shifts, eight hours or more, five days a week, 12 months a year. During their shifts, they will take in far more smoke than the cigar smokers who create the smoke and then depart for the fresh air of the sidewalk outside, leaving the employees to breathe all the smoke that has accumulated over the course of their workday, and which remains behind.

Anyone can see that this is a recipe for emphysema, lung cancer and other problems.

Remember, the Health Department does not prohibit the smoking of cigars or cigarettes. It only prohibits smoking them in the places where others can (will) be harmed by the secondhand smoke. This protection extends to the waiters and waitresses, busboys, cleaning staff and other employees.

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