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Issue 4 is common sense alternative to issue 5



Published: Thu, October 26, 2006 @ 12:00 a.m.



Issue 4 is common sense alternative to issue 5

EDITOR:

On Nov. 7, Ohio voters will have the opportunity to choose between two proposed statewide smoking bans, Issue 4 and Issue 5.

Issue 5, the total smoking ban supported by Smoke Free Ohio, seeks to restrict smoking in most public places including restaurants and even adult venues such as bars and nightclubs.

Issue 4, supported by Smoke Less Ohio, also restricts smoking in most public places but would allow smoking in places such as bars, restaurants with separate smoking rooms, bowling centers, smoke shops and private clubs.

Under Issue 4, ultimately the decision whether these adult-oriented venues allow the accommodation of customers who choose to smoke is up to the small- business owner. Smoke Less Ohio believes that business owners (i.e., smoke shops, bar and nightclub owners) should be able to determine their policy toward smoking, based on the preferences of the adult customers. Simply put, Issue 4 is a better law, putting the decision-making power right where it should be -- in the hands of the business owner.

As a business owner I support this constitutional amendment as a way to provide a common sense solution to the issue of public place smoking in Ohio. In fact, most Ohioans agree with this position. More than 71 percent of Ohio voters support a more reasonable approach.

Issue 4 will provide a stable statewide smoking policy by pre-empting existing local ordinances that prohibit smoking in bars and preventing localities from passing more restrictive "one-of" smoking ordinances.

Issue 4, is a more reasonable state wide smoking policy for the people of Ohio, which keeps minors away from second hand tobacco smoke in public areas while preserving the private property rights of adult-oriented business owners and the rights of non-smokers as well as adult smokers.

Total smoking bans have a significant negative impact on retail sales. Issue 4 would help reduce the expected loss of sales and jobs resulting from the more comprehensive total ban (Issue 5) being pushed by Smoke Free Ohio.

On the other hand, a total smoking ban such as Issue 5 will undoubtedly reduce cigar, pipe tobacco and cigarette sales.

While economic impact of the total ban (Issue 5) would be felt and more dramatically by bar owners and their employees, the financial fallout would quickly spread to other sectors of Ohio's economy, such as smoke shops, tobacco wholesalers, and retailers.

DAVID NEWMAN

Cigarette World & amp; Premium Cigars

Boardman

Issue 4 snuffs out local control

EDITOR:

If you think secondhand smoke doesn't hurt you, ask my mother's oncologist. My mom got bladder cancer while working as a nurse, when hospitals were not smoke-free. Her doctor told her the tumors she had were caused by smoking, but Mom never smoked.

Issue 4 is a pro-smoking constitutional amendment that would repeal 21 local smoke-free laws that were originally passed to protect employees from secondhand smoke. Why go backward?

Issue 4 is backed and funded by the tobacco industry that has lied repeatedly to the American people about its deadly products. Proponents of Issue 4 claim that a smoke-free environment hurts business. Have you been to Florida or California, which are Smoke-Free states? Their businesses are not hurting. Closer to home, Columbus is Smoke-Free and business is doing well.

Issue 5 is backed by the American Cancer Society as well as hundreds of organizations and businesses. The issue is not about banning smoking, it is about protecting workers from the dangers of second hand smoke. According to the Surgeon General's Report, no one should be exposed to secondhand smoke.

Whether you are an employer or employee, you should vote NO on 4; YES on 5.

MEL MILLIRON

West Farmington




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