Re: “Cigar exception would allow bars, tobacconists to smoke indoors” (TNT, 2-18).
The people of Washington state already settled this matter. They voted for smoke-free work environments for all. These bills are a transparent attempt to circumvent the law to benefit those who don’t care that secondhand smoke is killing people; recent statistics say around 50,000 people annually. This is in addition to the 440,000 people who die every year a preventable death from using tobacco.
It also puts people who are looking for work in a precarious position of giving up their ability to work in a clean air environment to pay the bills.
Exposure to tobacco is a surefire way to get sick, become poor and die an agonizing death. These bills need to be eliminated from consideration as they are not in the best interest of public health and the state’s health care costs.
The more people get sick from tobacco, the more our deficit will grow. With rising health care costs and increasing numbers of people underinsured or uninsured, every time someone can’t pay for their health care, we all foot the bill.
To voice your opinion, call the legislative hotline at 1-800-562-6000.
(Henson is co-chair of the Tobacco-Free Alliance of Pierce County.)