Rock Hill, South Carolina (PRWEB) December 1, 2008
Owners of businesses in York County should be allowed to continue to decide whether or not to permit smoking on their premises suggested the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association.
The York County Council anticipates a December 15 vote on a proposed countywide ban on smoking in public places.
"Business owners have been making those decisions on their own since our country was founded and their right to do so was assured by the United States Constitution," says Chris McCalla, legislative director of the IPCPR. "If owners of businesses want to ban smoking from their premises, that's their constitutional right. It's also their employees' and customers' rights to stay or go somewhere else. The marketplace will determine if their decisions were right or wrong," McCalla said.
According to McCalla, smoking bans are usually based on a misplaced fear of secondhand smoke promoted by anti-tobacco forces.
"People blame secondhand smoke for many ailments. However, a recent study of 360,000 Europeans enrolled in one of the largest, longest health studies in the world shows that belly fat has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes while doubling one's risk of death. With all due respect, who's to say many of the ailments blamed on secondhand smoke weren't caused instead by waist sizes more than 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women? Does that mean Twinkies and Big Macs should be banned next?" he asked.
"The 2006 Surgeon General's Report clearly concluded that secondhand smoke should not be considered a legitimate health or environmental hazard. Anti-tobacco groups contradict the actual findings of the Report which stress the insufficient evidence to support such claims," said McCalla.
"And if the Surgeon General's report actually said secondhand smoke is environmentally unsafe, wouldn't you think the Occupational Safety and Health Administration would be all over it? Instead, OSHA isn't anywhere near citing secondhand smoke as problematic in the workplace or elsewhere," McCalla pointed out. "OSHA set standards for secondhand smoke in the workplace that are substantially above that which might be found in a restaurant or bar, according to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory."
McCalla recommended that, based on reason and individual rights, the Council should vote down any measure to legislatively ban smoking in York County.