Thanks for going smoke-free |

Thanks for going smoke-free

Having just returned from time away, I was so very pleased to discover how quickly the movement to make public gathering places in Summit County smoke-free, especially restaurants and bars, has gained momentum.

I was especially impressed with the list of restaurants and bars now committed to being smoke-free that was published in the June 20 Summit Daily News.

I am saving it. Suddenly the choices of where to go at night have expanded. I hope others will do the same, and I support these businesses willing to make a voluntary commitment to everyone’s health and comfort.

I just got back from Oregon. The entire state is now smoke-free, and the thrust of that movement was to make sure all workers were guaranteed a safe working environment.

As a worker who is still subjected to secondhand smoke periodically, I can say firsthand it has a very negative impact on my health and well-being. On this year’s Oregon visit, and last year’s as well – right after the law went into effect – I didn’t hear any complaints in the bars and restaurants where I played music or visited as a patron.

People adjusted just fine. And all the joints were jumping, and people were having a great time. Numerous folks told me they went out more since the smoke-free environment became a guaranteed thing.

I know from personal experience – I was more inclined to linger because I could relax and breathe. It was great. My first night out back here at home was to hear music at the Blue Spruce Inn. The place is now 100 percent smoke-free, and the experience was wonderful.

The place was packed, and the prevailing comment that evening from folks I spoke to was how great it was to have a drink, hear music and not be choking.

It is unfortunate there are still smokers who feel that a smoke-free initiative is interfering with their right to go out and have a good time. No one is forbidding smokers from frequenting their establishments by making them smoke-free. As far as I know, every place will allow someone to go outside, smoke and then return without losing their table or their drink.

Thanks again to the folks of SmokeFree Summit for their education and lobbying efforts, and to all the bars and restaurants who have been willing to go smoke free voluntarily. I will certainly be throwing my support your way.

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