Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

October 30, 2005

Robey applauded on smoking-ban bill

As a nearly 20-year Howard County resident, I applaud County Executive James N. Robey for entering a bill to make Howard County's bars and restaurants 100 percent smoke free ("Robey readies new smoking ban," The Sun, Oct. 26).

As a young professional who has gladly taken her business to Montgomery County since they went smoke free, I am glad that my dollars will now be able to stay here, where I live and work.

I look forward to again patronizing local businesses rather than traveling elsewhere when my friends and I go out.

Thank you, Mr. Robey, for recognizing the value of the health of all workers and patrons.

Kelly Dolan

Columbia

Enforcement function a crucial element

Howard County Executive James N. Robey should be praised for his efforts to protect the health of all county workers by introducing smoke-free legislation.

I urge the County Council to support him in that effort. That being said, let's get this done right. Although I expect the vast majority of the food service industry to abide by the law, inspection and enforcement of "smoke free" places must take place on a regular and consistent basis.

Howard County's current exemption allowing smoking in separately ventilated enclosed bar areas has not been effective. Part of the reason is that enforcement has been virtually nonexistent. Designating an enforcement agent who would hold bar owners accountable is necessary for worker protection and public health.

Thomas R. McCarthy

Columbia

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