Councilman Gray to receive an award for his efforts from Lung Association

September 22, 1993|By James M. Coram | James M. Coram,Staff Writer

The American Lung Association of Maryland will honor Howard County Councilman C. Vernon Gray and Baltimore County State Sen. F. Vernon Boozer tomorrow as lawmakers of the year for 1993.

The association cited Mr. Gray for his "tireless energy dedicated to promoting smoke-free legislation designed to protect Howard County residents."

In the last five years, Mr. Gray has sponsored and helped enact county legislation that has successively limited smoking in public.

His 1988 bill requiring restaurants to set aside no-smoking sections and ordering employers to provide smoke-free work spaces was followed in 1992 by a bill outlawing smoking in enclosed shopping malls.

Monday, the council voted to support his latest effort -- a bill that will virtually eliminate smoking in public places beginning July 1, 1996.

"I am very delighted and very pleased that the American Lung Association has recognized the work we've done here in Howard County to protect people from second-hand smoke," Mr. Gray said. "What I've done is easy compared to people from the Lung Association and the Cancer Society.

"I accept this award for my colleagues who supported the bill as well as for the citizens of Howard County who felt it is imperative that we provide a smoke-free environment to nonsmokers."

Mr. Gray said opponents have told him over the years to lighten up, but he found it impossible after reading reports from the Environmental Protection Agency and the American Medical Association.

The reports "showed the devastating impact second-hand smoke has on children, the elderly and people with respiratory problems," he said.

Some restaurant owners had complained that the most recent bill would put them out of business -- it bans smoking in restaurants after July 1, 1996 -- but any economic downturn will be short lived, Mr. Gray said.

The association cited Mr. Boozer as "a staunch supporter and sponsor of legislation to protect the health of Marylanders by creating smoke-free areas in public places, prohibiting minors' access to cigarette vending machines, and reducing outdoor air pollution."

The association presents its Lawmaker of the Year award to public officials who are instrumental in promoting measures that further the association's aims.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.