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SMOKING: Voters spoke loudly on this issue

Letter by Heidi Henson, Gig Harbor on March 28, 2011 at 11:40 am with 13 Comments »
March 28, 2011 2:30 pm

Re: “Smoking lounge ‘buy-in’ bill moves ahead” (Political Buzz, 3-20).

How does making more people exposed to, addicted to and sick from tobacco in order to “raise more money for critical health care programs” make sense? The cigar lounge bill would do just that.

I have been told that this bill is still being considered because it is “necessary to implement the budget.” I wonder who decided that? The last time I checked, state voters approved smoke-free indoor air for all workers in the state. And they spoke very clearly: Initiative 901 was passed by a wide voter margin and went into effect Dec. 8, 2005.

This law requires all public places and places of employment to be smoke-free, specifically adding schools, restaurants, bars, bowling alleys and nontribal casinos to the definition of a public place and calls for a 25-foot perimeter or “presumptively reasonable distance” of no smoking in front of public building entrances, windows and air intakes.

The Institute of Medicine report on secondhand smoke exposure and heart disease clearly confirms that secondhand smoke could cause heart attacks and that smoke-free bans prevent them and save lives. More than half of people who die suddenly of coronary heart disease have no previous symptoms. Blue-collar and service workers are especially likely to be exposed to secondhand smoke on the job.

Let’s get our representatives to uphold the law and not be blinded by easy money from tobacco. Oppose SB 5542.

(Henson is a member of the Tobacco-Free Alliance of Pierce County.)

Leave a comment Comments → 13
  1. walkineasy says:

    Heidi, if adults decide that they want to smoke in an enclosed area where no one that doesn’t want to be there isn’t, why are you against allowing them to do so? Smokers are going to smoke whether you like it or not.

    Let them be adults and decide for themselves. Nobody in a cigar lounge is being forced to be there.

    Stop forcing everyone to live by your narrow standards.

  2. Heidi, just one suggestion, if your sensibilities are affected by smoking lounges, stay out! I’m sure that you and your little Political Correctness attitude won’t be missed. Get a life.

  3. firemannotfirefighter says:

    Hey Heidi, Why can’t you just stay out of the private clubs where I want to enjoy my once a month Cigar?

    Politically correct extremists like you are trying to over legislate and impose your will on others. Why don’t you start the pierce County Fatty police too. That way you can dictate what I eat. How about the Tacoma Intelligence Monitoring society, so that you can inform the rest of us what we should and should not believe and how to best reach decisions that have NO impact on your life. How about the South Puget Sound Regional We know better than you do so do what we tell you association.

  4. As a non smoker, this law was STUPID! Seriously, as an adult I can choose to go to a smoking or non-smoking bar. I can choose to work(if I worked in that field) in a smoking or non-smoking establishment. We have just chased those taxpayers over to tribal bars/restaurants/casinos that aren’t governed by our idiotic group of elected officials. Pass this new law, then expand it so that any privately owned establishment that does not allow minors to be in it can choose to be smoking or non-smoking. I’ll choose to frequent non-smoking establishments, as I hate the smell of smoke. But I’ll recognize the rights of both the establishments owners and patrons to participate in smoking(a legal activity at present) if they so choose.

  5. I have to admit, the thought of putting all these smokers into one room………….

  6. To all you non-smokers: “Mind your own business!” I must admit though, I envy all you non-smokers, “You are going to die healthy!”

  7. SB 5542 was designed to trample down existing public supported tobacco law as did El Gaucho by creating an illegal cigar lounge in Tacoma that was eventually closed. If people would read the entire bill they would discover that workers must sign away their right to a healthy working environment. Who would want a son or daughter, mother or dad, exposing themselves to the dangers of scientifically documented secondhand smoke because of the need of a paycheck? The last line of the bill makes a mockery of real legislative “emergencies” when it states this bill should be implemented immediately as an emergency measure!

  8. puddlez, Please enlighten me. Where is it stated that a person must work in a place that they deem to be hazardous to their health? To the best of my knowledge there are many dangerous occupations out there. Who would want their son or daughter,mother or dad working on a crab boat in the Bering Sea? Or who would want their mother or dad, sister or brother to work the late shift at 7-11, or drive a taxi in south Chicago?

  9. firemannotfirefighter says:


    If Heidi gets her way, then yes she will eventually get to dictate where you work, but until then, you don’t have to work at El Goucho or ANY establishment or occupation that you feel is unsafe or poses any sort of health risk to you.

  10. mountainfisherman says:

    dear heidi excuse me but your full of smoke nobody is forceing you to go these places so lay off. i have relatives that live in differnt states they all have cigars lounches. they have no problem with them. also read your article on the fair and smoking am glad you stay away we dont NEED you and your smoke free dollars. there was enough other smells at the fair that was worse than second hand smoke. AND dont get me started on second hand smoke. i will bury you in facts on second hand smoke after reading some of the other comments i agree with them keep your (butt) in gig harbor. oh yeah im a smoker i have done more than my share of not to impose on other poeple. one last thing i pay more taxes than you because i smoke. one last thing if you are active in community affairs why dont you help the poor , the disadvantage, the homeless and abused kids ok im done

  11. Hey, have you heard that the Illinois legislature has just passed a bill to allow smoking in casinos because they need the tax revenue? HaHa.

  12. Heidi, have you gotten the message yet? Butt out, We’ve had enough of you liberals trying to run our lives. If anyone wants your advice we’ll ask for it.

  13. The message voters sent was that we don’t want to be inundated with the foul carcinogens emitted by those who are addicted to tobacco.

    To risk all the good that this legislation has created on new legislation aimed at undermining these gains is foolish. It’s doubtful that the vast majority of voters will be moved by the sob stories of a very small number of cigar smokers.

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