Summit County indeed can make up its mind about smoking on Nov. 4 |

Summit County indeed can make up its mind about smoking on Nov. 4

In an Oct. 16 letter, Alex Johnson states, “I’d like to think that we as Americans and Summit Countians are capable of making our own decisions and not letting somebody else make them for us,” in regard to the nonsmoking ballot referendum (Referred Question 1B). Excellent point, Mr. Johnson.

The beauty of it is that the decision is being left to us on Nov. 4.

Don’t forget that Referred Question 1 B has been put on the ballot by SmokeFree Summit, a group of private citizens of Summit County, not a government agency and not funded by government money, but by private donations.  

I have faith in my fellow community members that they will make an educated decision and vote accordingly. I believe they will read studies about the dangers of second-hand smoke by credible medical researchers whose studies are not flawed, not biased and not funded by the Tobacco Institute and/or tobacco companies, such as the study in the British Medical Journal.    

I trust the voters of Summit County will learn, objectively, about the economic impact of a smoke-free ordinance, prior to voting, and will learn that international tourist destinations such as New York City and even Aspen, Snowmass Village and Telluride, whose demographics and location most equally match ours, have had no negative effects on tourism, the overall economy or sales tax revenues from hotels, restaurants and bars, as shown in a study done by The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA study, Vol. 281, No. 20).   

I would also like to assure Matt Shelton (whose letter was also published Oct. 16) that all supporters of this ordinance are not necessarily representatives of SmokeFree Summit or fascists.

I, for example, am neither. I’m just simply a bartender who thinks that I, and every other restaurant employee in every restaurant, deserve the same right to a healthy work environment that others in almost every other occupation enjoy.    

I feel confident the people of Summit County will make the most of this diplomatic voting opportunity, will do their research and come to the same conclusion that all other communities in Colorado have, when asked to decide on the same or similar ballot questions, and will vote to pass a nonsmoking ordinance.

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