November 16, 2009
By now the dangers of smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke are so well established that hardly anyone disputes the risks they pose to public health and well-being. Every year some 390,000 Americans die from smoking-related illnesses, and tobacco contributes to 1 out of every 6 deaths annually in this country. That's why we applaud Towson University's decision last week to ban smoking everywhere on its campus. We only wonder why it took the university this long to take a step that so obviously benefits its students and the entire school community.
March 15, 2007
As a resident of a county that has not gone smoke-free, I am elated that this may be the year the state moves to improve my health and protect the health of my neighbors ("House panel hears 2 sides on smoking," March 8) Unfortunately, Harford County has not joined the diverse parade of jurisdictions that have reviewed the science, weighed the arguments and concluded that protecting all workers from the dangers of secondhand smoke is the healthy, cost-effective and just thing to do. Consequently, my neighbors and I depend on the state to provide us this protection.
February 27, 2007
The air in smoky Baltimore bars presents a far greater risk to the health of patrons and workers than that of smoke-free establishments, according to a study by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Tobacco smoke in city bars produced airborne particle levels 10 times higher on average than the Environmental Protection Agency considers safe for outdoor air, the study found. By contrast, the air in nonsmoking bars contained about the same particle levels as outdoor air and at least 90 percent less harmful particulate matter than the air in smoking bars.
November 1, 2006
Can we just cut to the chase about the great Baltimore smoking-ban debate of 2006? City Hall chambers were packed last week -- packed, mind you -- with hundreds of folks dying to weigh in on the topic of whether the City Council should ban smoking in restaurants and bars. Many opposed the ban, claiming that some owners of bars and restaurants might suffer a loss of business. Proponents of the bill pointed out the hazards of secondhand smoke. But this issue isn't about secondhand smoke.
October 25, 2006
Today at 5 p.m., a Baltimore City Council committee will hold a public hearing on a smoking ban for the city's bars and restaurants. We hope it clears the air a little bit. Councilman Robert W. Curran, the sponsor of the proposed ban - which he prefers to call a workplace safety issue - is enthusiastic about the testimony he expects to hear against smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke, and predicts that he can get a bill passed by January. It's about time. The opposition is predictable.
July 2, 2006
Come next January, Baltimore will be the only large city between Washington and Boston to allow smoking in bars. Even now, you could hit every saloon between Seaford, Del., and Newburyport, Mass., and there'd be no chance that smoke gets in your eyes. In fact, if you could hold your breath on the way through Denton, in Caroline County, and through Portsmouth and its outlying towns in New Hampshire, you could make your smoke-free odyssey all the way from Tilghman Island to Campbellton, way up in Restigouche County, New Brunswick.