Letters to the Editor
I am writing in support of the Tobacco Free Ordinance being considered by the City Council. According to statistics, smoking is the number one preventable cause of death in America today, with over 430,000 dying each year from tobacco related causes. Another 53,000 non-smoking Americans die annually from inhaling other people's tobacco smoke. As citizens, we do not need to continue to allow ourselves to be subjected to second-hand smoke.
Further, the cost of health insurance is at an all time high and getting worse by the year. We cannot continue to be carried down the river of this inflation without some day drowning. Preventable diseases must be met head on.
As far as commerce is concerned, studies done in California after a smoking ban was passed have shown restaurant sales in that state have increased by 27 percent and sales for establishments serving both food and alcohol have increased by 25 percent since 1995. This research should help ease local business owners who fear that the ordinance will adversely affect revenues.
I encourage everyone to make time to express your views at the public hearing Tuesday, March 15 at 5 p.m. at Brewton City Hall during the City Council meeting. We all need to be there to support this ordinance for the benefit of all citizens in our city.
Natural Decorations, Inc.
I would just like to agree with the lady who wrote in last Sunday's paper about how pleasant the chimes of our local churches are when they sing out God's Goodness!
May I tell a short story: Someone in our church (First Church of the Nazarene) wanted chimes very much. For years he wanted us to have chimes, but it never seemed feasible for one reason or another. Then Ed got sick, and sicker, and we prayed and cried with his family. We buried our fellow church member and dear friend, but his family would not let Ed die. They installed church chimes in his memory! What a wonderful memory…
I am talking about Ed Thornburg, who was a friend to many people in this city, at the paper mill where he worked and all over. When I hear the chimes ring softly, (yes, because no one near by wants to be disturbed!), they just bless my heart, and remind me of my dear friend! Recently I spoke to Ed's mother coming into the church. The chimes were ringing so beautifully. I said to her: "Don't they sound wonderful?" She replied, "When I hear those bells, I feel like my son is speaking to me." I never heard a sweeter sentiment.
I can not hear our chimes up Dailey Street where I live, but I can faintly hear the chimes if I'm outside from the First Methodist Church of East Brewton. The sounds, to me, are like God speaking to all of us. We need that love and peace that rings out from the chimes of our churches.
Truthfully, Carolyn M. Jordan 1207 Dailey St. East Brewton
The American Lung Association of Alabama applauds the City of Brewton for considering a smoke-free ordinance and urges the city leaders to adopt the law.
Smoke-free ordinances are a public health benefit and protect non-smokers from the exposure to second-hand smoke, the third leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Second-hand smoke knows no boundaries, and can adversely affect the senior citizen or the baby ten feet away. It increases the risk for lung cancer, stroke, emphysema and other respiratory diseases such as asthma and SIDS in children.
Most cities focus first on the economic implications, thinking incorrectly that a smoke-free ordinance will negatively impact business. More than two-dozen studies have been conducted in the last decade regarding the economic impact on area businesses and all but those funded by big tobacco show no negative impact on restaurant and/or bar revenue. In fact, many show any increase in restaurant and hospitality industry sales because the 75 percent of the population who are non-smokers will eat out more often and more than compensate for the small percentage of smokers who may dine out less.
But smoke-free ordinances not only have the potential to increase revenue, they are proven to decrease costs, including employee medical costs and loss productivity from working in unhealthy environment.
Smoke-free ordinances also help the seven out of ten smokers who want to quit by providing them with public environments free from any pressure or temptation to smoke.
Melissa Kendrick, MPA
American Lung Association of Alabama
3125 Independence Drive
Birmingham, Alabama 35209
Fighting Lung Disease…One Breath at a Time