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Guest Alex Hogan

D.c. Council Candidate Griffiths: Ban Smoking In T

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Guest Alex Hogan

Committee to Elect Arturo Griffiths

 

For immediate release: Friday, April 30, 2004

Contact: Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624,

Renée Bowser, Griffiths Campaign Manager, 202-882-1733,

Arturo Griffiths, 202-452-5560

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Arturo Griffiths, candidate for the at-large seat on D.C. City Council, has declared himself on the side of workers concerned about the health risks of second-hand smoke. Mr. Griffiths, noting that May 1 is a traditional celebration of workers' rights, urged Council to pass an ordinance outlawing smoking in D.C. workplaces, including enclosed public spaces such as restaurants and bars.

 

"The presence of cigarette smoke in workplaces is an occupational hazard for many working people," said Mr. Griffiths, who is seeking the nomination of the D.C. Statehood Green Party. "Customers worried about smoke in a restaurant have the option of eating elsewhere, but restaurant workers are constrained to stay and breathe unhealthy air."

 

On April 22, the Centers for Disease Control issued a stern warning about the dangers of second-hand smoke, advising nonsmokers against entering buildings and enclosed spaces where other people are smoking. The CDC noted that even 30 minutes of exposure in a restaurant or an office might be enough to trigger a fatal heart attack for some people who are at risk.

 

Griffiths rejected the proposal by incumbent Council candidate Carol Schwartz (R.-At-Large) to grant tax breaks to restaurants and bars that voluntarily ban smoking. Ms. Schwartz claims that her 'Smoke-Free Workplace Incentive Amendment Act' would encourage business owners in D.C. to be smoke-free.

 

"Ms. Schwartz's bill would convert a serious public health issue and a hazard for employees into a matter of financial convenience for business owners," said Mr. Griffiths. "The bill guarantees no protection for workers. It's like giving landlords a tax break if they promise not to allow someone to dump poison in the plumbing. Carol Schwartz is bad for your health!"

 

Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees (HERE) Local 25, representing about 8000 employees in hotels, restaurants, bars, and meeting venues and a majority of whom are DC residents, has called on D.C. to adopt a smoke-free workplace policy (September 17, 2003 statement of Liz Thorne, President of HERE Local 25 ). According to a telephone poll conducted by the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids in December 2003, 60% of D.C. residents support a smoking ban for indoor workplaces.

 

The CDC's warning, published in the British Medical Journal, featured a study of Helena, Montana, which banned smoking in all public enclosed spaces in June 2002. During the period in which the ban was in effect, heart attack admissions to the local hospital declined by 40%. After the ban was rescinded six months later, the heart attack rate returned to its former level.

 

An earlier CDC study (February 26, 2004), based on 11 years of quarterly sales tax reports and beverage tax receipts in El Paso, Texas before its smoking ban and a year of receipts since the January 2, 2002 ban, showed that the ban on smoking in public areas and workplaces had no reduction in restaurant and bar revenues. El Paso's population is about the same size as D.C.'s, with 560,000 residents.

 

MORE INFORMATION:

"Secondhand Smoke Poses Heart Attack Risk, CDC Warns" The Washington Post, April 23, 2004

Smokefree D.C.

The D.C. Statehood Green Party

 

Paid for by the Committee to Elect Arturo Griffiths, Philip Barlow, Treasurer

 

Contact Arturo:

info@votearturo2004.org

202-452-5560

www.votearturo2004.org

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Guest Avid Smoker

Why cannot bars have the freedom to allow smoking. The patrons have the freedom to decide whether they want to enter the bars.

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Guest B.D.

Get with it, guy. Smoking is for morons! I live here in Delaware now. Know what the law is here? For the past year and a half it is illegal to smoke in any building that is open to the public, including bars, casinos, etc. This was done primarily for the protection of employees, but most patrons are in favor of the smoking ban! The only exception is private clubs. You want to go out and smoke somewhere, go to the Moose Lodge!

 

Three-fourths of adults do not smoke! Why do you think I should ever be subjected to your putrid, foul, deadly habit?

 

You want to spend excessive amounts of money feeding your disgusting addiction, you want to smell like a filthy ashtray, you want to burn holes in your upholstery and clothes, you want to loose your breath walking up a flight of steps, you want to loose half a lung, then another, get early heart disease, emphasema, etc., YOU WANT TO BECOME IMPOTENT, you want to risk burning your house down or accidentally starting a brush fire?

 

THE NUMBER ONE CAUSE OF EACH OF THESE AND MORE IS CIGARETTE SMOKING!

 

But you think you have a 'right to smoke'! Go read the Constitution. Where do you see anything that can be interpreted as hinting at smokers' rights?

 

Just BS fed to you by the immoral bastards in the cigarette business. And only an idiot buys this crap!

 

And one more thing. I am a long time motorcyclist. If you want to make an instant enemy of me, just let me see you throw your lit butt out of the window of your car. Every car has an ash tray, USE IT! The world is not your ash tray! If you think you can flick your ashes in my face, then be prepared when I spit in yours!

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