Hooray, Summit is smoke free | SummitDaily.com

Hooray, Summit is smoke free


Count us among those celebrating that a smoking ban went into effect June 1 across Summit County.We supported the ban early on, even when protesters touched our slightly libertarian conscience with comments about government forcing people into behaviors. We even saw merit in the argument that nonsmokers were free to patronize the majority of county establishments that had gone smoke-free voluntarily.Still, we think smoking is a health issue so important that government should do what it can to confine smokers to nonpublic areas. We believe in that old saw that a person’s right to smoke ends at our collective nose.Smoking costs society dearly in health and subsequent medical expenses. Restaurant and bar workers, let alone patrons, should not have to breathe the poisonous brew of airborne chemicals.Someday, we hope the health insurance industry finds a way to force smokers to pay for the medical care they are more likely to require. Today, we all pay for the consequences of smoking. In Summit County, County Commissioner Gary Lindstrom deserves the credit for getting the smoking ban steamroller going. In a Summit Daily News column, he sounded the trumpet that it was time to go smoke free.The activists in SmokeFree Summit did the rest of the work. Don Parsons and Jason Luchtefeld did yeomen’s work, with the help of many others.A while back, Chris Hart of Breckenridge wrote a letter challenging locals to make special efforts to patronize restaurants and bars after the smoking ban went into effect, to help them through the transition.We add our voice to that challenge. The restaurant industry and the people it employs are vital to the county. Let’s give them an economic pat on the back.

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