Columbus, MS (PRWEB) October 5, 2008
If it ain't broke, don't fix it. Local businesses are choosing on their own to allow smoking or not on their premises and should be left alone to do so. That's the position of the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association as articulated today by Chris McCalla, legislative director.
"Most smoking bans are based on at least two false premises: one has to do with misrepresented assumptions regarding secondhand smoke and the other has to do with misunderstandings of our constitutional rights," McCalla said.
"The Surgeon General's 2006 Report says that the evidence is inconclusive regarding the health aspects of secondhand smoke. That explains why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration does not regard secondhand smoke as an occupational or environmental hazard," he said.
McCalla pointed out that OSHA has established safe exposure levels for secondhand smoke and shown that "Field studies of environmental tobacco smoke indicate that it would be very rare to find a workplace with so much smoking that (those levels would be exceeded)," according to Greg Watchman, Acting Ass't Sec'y of OSHA in 1997.
McCalla also cited testing of secondhand smoke air quality conducted by the American Cancer Society that showed secondhand smoke concentrations to be up to 25,000 times safer than OSHA standards. In addition, he said, Oak Ridge National Laboratory testing confirms that results of air quality testing of secondhand smoke in bars and restaurants were, in their words, "considerably below limits established by OSHA."
"Yes, smokers are in the minority, but that is no reason to allow the majority - non-smokers - to have their way regardless of their impingement on the minority's rights. Our nation's founders opposed government intervention into matters better left to the people. That includes private property - like businesses - where owners have the right to decide whether or not to allow smoking on their premises. Customers and employees then have the right to patronize or work at those businesses. That's what's happening in Columbus and we should continue to let it happen," he pointed out.
"Certain businesses are adult destinations aimed at adults who enjoy cigars. For example, no adult non-smoker is going to accidentally walk into a cigar store or cigar bar. Even if they do, such incidental exposure is not going to harm them.
"The bottom line is that for adults who enjoy the legal pleasures of a fine cigar and the celebratory and social aspects of smoking such cigars, it's important for them - and it is their right - to have places where smoking is permitted and children aren't," he said.
tony @ tortoricipr.com