Madison, WI (PRWEB) October 19, 2008
Wisconsin's local and state legislators need to wake up to the truth about smoking bans before it is too late, according to Chris McCalla, legislative director of the International Premium Cigar and Pipe Retailers Association.
According to McCalla, smoking bans are bad for business, defile the constitutional rights of business owners and are based on erroneous assumptions regarding secondhand smoke.
Nearly 30 of IPCPR's 2,000 members are Wisconsin-based owners of neighborhood smoke shops that pay millions of dollars annually in payroll, sales and excise taxes.
"History has shown that legislatively imposed smoking bans often lead to lower tax revenues from these businesses, widespread layoffs and even forced closings," he explained.
McCalla also challenged erroneous information provided by anti-smoking groups.
"People should stop blaming secondhand smoke for every ailment under the sun. That's what led to bans in Madison, Appleton and other Wisconsin cities and that's what is influencing cities like La Crosse and Kenosha to consider their own bans while the state is said to be gearing up to confront the controversial issue after the winter holidays," McCalla said.
"Here's the truth: The 2006 Surgeon General's Report clearly concluded that secondhand smoke should not be considered a legitimate health or environmental hazard," he said.
"That's why the Occupational Safety and Health Administration isn't anywhere near citing second-hand smoke as problematic in the workplace or elsewhere," McCalla pointed out.
According to McCalla, OSHA has established safe exposure levels for secondhand smoke and says 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)."
McCalla also pointed to Oak Ridge National Laboratory testing of air with secondhand smoke in bars and restaurants that proved to be, in their words, "considerably below limits established by OSHA."
"Our nation's founders opposed government intervention into matters of 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," he pointed out.
tony @ tortoricipr.com