Published 4:42 am Monday, July 10, 2006
Quick decision requested of Brewton Council
The latest surgeon general's report on second-hand smoke reveals some startling facts.
Second-hand smoke is as dangerous as smoking, according to the federal report.
Exposure to second-hand smoke causes coronary heart disease and lung cancer and has immediate adverse effects on the cardiovascular system, according to the surgeon general. It also puts children at greater risk for sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, ear problems and more severe asthma.
The strain on our healthcare system from such health problems can be enormous. We need to try to curb everyone's exposure to second-hand smoke.
But perhaps one of the more interesting opinions in the report is this: Banning smoking in restaurants and bars has little to no effect on their economic success, according to the evidence.
The Partnership for a Healthier Escambia County has been working for months to get municipalities to pass a ban on smoking in local bars and restaurants.
Flomaton so far is the only city to pass such a ban.
Brewton has had a committee in place for months, but the members have made no recommendation.
The surgeon general's report makes clear why we cannot delay any longer.
Not only do restaurant patrons deserve the ban, but restaurant employees - who spend even more time around second-hand smoke - deserve the opportunity to work in a smoke-free environment.
The Brewton City Council needs to make a decision, quickly. We need a ban against smoking in local bars and restaurants.