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Hospital CEO supports 'take it outside' legislation

Posted: March 6, 2014 - 9:40am

I have watched the smoke-free campaign make significant ground over the last several years. As a healthcare professional, I would be remiss if I didn’t support a proposed law that would prohibit smoking in all indoor workplaces, businesses and public places. Of course the reason this legislation is being proposed is to prevent non-smokers from being exposed to second hand smoke. We now have plenty of science to support the fact that second hand smoke is dangerous. Just look up The Health Consequences of Smoking report. It’s all there; I don’t need to recite facts and figures as we all now know that smoking is a major threat to our public health.

I know we do things differently up here in Alaska and don’t want or need anyone telling us what to do. Asking people to “take it outside” is a reasonable compromise to protect other people’s health from the effects of second hand smoke. Much of Alaska has already adopted similar smoke-free laws but many areas remain in Alaska where they do not have health powers to enact such a law. The legislation introduced doesn’t prohibit smokers from being hired or anything like that. They will just have to “take it outside” and away from an entrance or air intake.

We have enacted a smoke-free campus policy at our hospital and it was received well upon implementation. I suspect businesses that will be required to go smoke-free under the proposed legislation will enjoy the same results. People will thank you, just as they did at our hospital. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue, it’s a health issue. Please support House Bill 360 and Senate Bill 209.

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cheapersmokes 03/10/14 - 06:53 am
Take it outside!

This is the most stupid and ill founded campaign ever! Don't you realize that smoking is a legal choice and smokers also have rights to smoke. Back in the early 80's the Surgeon General sent a letter to all county Coroner's which stated unless the cause of death is obvious (Ax sticking in head, etc) find out it they had ever smoked and list tobacco related as the cause of death on the certificate. Then they watched the tobacco related deaths grow and grow and started to place all kinds of restrictions on smoking. I started to smoke when I was five years old and have smoked ever since (57 years). A cigarette actually saved my life back in 1991 when I was the world's first survivor of a ruptured basilar tip artery brain anyeurism. I got a Doctor's (U of MN's Department Head of Neurosurgery at their Medical School) permission to smoke anywhere in a non smoking hospital and also a Governor's pardon. Ever since I smoke in non smoking permitted places and if someone calls me out on it I simply tell them to charge me with smoking in public. They always ask me if I want a ticket and I say of course. Then I tell them they will be the most hated person in the USA when I challenge the law all the way to the Supreme Court and the laws are found unconstitutional and the smokers just might elect me as President. I have never had one ticket been given to me in over 8 years and have smoked in numerous hospitals, Court Houses (state and Federal) and many Government buildings. I have been smoking chemical free cigarettes for over 15 years and now I inject my own with pipe tobacco and pay less than .80 cents a pack with no state taxes paid. I also know of no one who has died due to secondhand smoke!

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