March 6, 2012
If the smoking ban on Harford County government properties applies to parks and recreation ball fields, there's no reason why it can't apply to the County Courthouse, official excuses notwithstanding. Beginning Jan. 1, smoking on county property was banned, a move that came as welcome news for anyone - government employees and members of the general public alike - who has been subjected to secondhand smoke while trying to run the siege line of smokers standing outside various county government buildings.
December 1, 2011
Few things are quite as unsightly as the piles of cigarette butts that accumulate in low spots on parking lots and the gutters on the sides of roads. It seems even as most kinds of littering have become less frequent, flicking a butt out a car window remains just another unsavory aspect of the practice of smoking. Mercifully for those of us who don't smoke, this irritating practice will be that much less part of the scene as Harford County government is poised to ban smoking — indeed all tobacco use — on county-owned and leased properties, inside and out. Here in Maryland, one of the last strongholds of smoking rights owing to the state's centuries of tobacco growing tradition, smoking indoors has been illegal for years, and it's not hard to strike up a conversation about how odd it seems to walk into a lobby in states where lobby smoking is still permitted.
October 26, 2011
Baltimore County plans to prohibit employees from smoking in government vehicles, including police cars and maintenance trucks, a county health official confirmed. Dr. Gregory Wm. Branch, the county health officer, recommended the move to county Administrative Officer Fred Homan last week, citing the health risks of secondhand smoke. "Secondhand smoke can remain in [homes and cars] through contaminated dust and surfaces, even if smoking took place days, weeks and even months earlier," Branch wrote in the letter obtained by The Baltimore Sun. "The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health has concluded that secondhand smoke is an occupational carcinogen.
October 5, 2011
In the continued effort to reduce infant mortality in Baltimore, health officials and the Family League of Baltimore City have launched an effort to reduce secondhand smoke near babies and pregnant women. The campaign, called "Just Hold Off," is the second phase of the B'more for Healthy Babies program. The first phase, launched in August 2010, focused on safe sleep: Babies should sleep alone, on their backs in a crib. Officials are urging smokers to back away from pregnant women and babies in the home, vehicles, bus shelters and elsewhere.
July 18, 2011
The griping about the smoking ban in our public parks falls on deaf ears for me. One complaint I heard was about a smoker being forced to stop if his neighbor could "smell the smoke. " It's not smelling smoke that's bad, it's breathing smoke that's lethal. We deserve the right to breath clean air anywhere, anytime. Carole Fisher Ellicott City
July 11, 2011
Howard County, which led the way in prohibiting smoking indoors, plans to extend the ban outdoors to all county parks, a move that would be the first of its kind in the state. "It's something we've been looking at for some time," County Executive Ken Ulman said in an interview, adding that it's another goal toward making "Howard County the healthiest county it can be. " Smoking, he said, "is not in keeping with that. It's a dirty, filthy habit. " Ulman plans on issuing an executive order that applies to all 57 park properties, but does not include open space and parks owned by the Columbia Association.