However, State Representative, Tom McMillin, (along with a few other Republican and Democratic representatives), has introduce a bill that would allow for smoking in outdoor patio’s. McMillin’s bill defines an outdoor restaurant area as one that is “less than 50% enclosed.” Restaurants would have the discretion, under the legislation, to choose whether to allow smoking in outdoor areas. McMillin said he’s a nonsmoker, but that he opposes the ban on smoking at restaurants because he thinks it infringes on civil liberties.
I am against this new bill for several reasons.First, though people have a right to smoke if they choose, we non-smokers have the right to be able to go into any and all restaurants and bars and not be subjected to their smoke. Even in an outdoor setting, smoke travels and can be harmful to others.
Secondly, more studies have shown Smoke-Free Laws reduce smoking. An added benefit of smoke-free laws is their proven ability to prevent kids from starting to smoke and encourages smokers to quit. The 2012 Surgeon General’s Report concluded that in combination with sustained programs and mass media campaigns, tax increases, and other regulatory initiatives, smoke free laws effectively reduce smoking among youth and young adults.
Finally, we need to look globally where there are over 110 Nations that have some type of Smoke Free Air laws such as Spain, Ireland, France and England. We need to look to future, not roll back the rights of non-smokers to enjoy clean air.
This bill is another example of Tom McMillin working for a narrow fringe of citizens while putting the common good aside.
Candidate for State Representative #45