Archive for Thursday, January 15, 2009

Smoking bans need state-wide standardization

January 15, 2009

The Lawrence Journal-World said in a recent editorial:

The number of Kansas communities that have passed or are considering smoking bans fuels discussion of legislation that would impose such a ban statewide.

However, the many differences in the local laws being approved raise questions about whether this should be a statewide issue or kept at the local level.

A statewide ban would have the advantage of standardizing the laws across the state, but it’s also possible that any smoking ban that could muster broad legislative support would be so watered down that it wouldn’t address the concerns of many communities.

Previous legislative efforts to pass a statewide ban have resulted in laws that died under the weight of numerous exemptions that caused supporters to lose their enthusiasm for the bills.

The local laws passed in various communities illustrate some of the problems with making this a statewide issue.

Smoking, of course, is a personal choice, but with all the evidence about the dangers of secondhand smoke, many people believe the time for a statewide ban has come. This is a health issue. Legislators should stand up, as many local officials have, and pass a meaningful statewide smoking ban.

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