Juneau Assembly takes up smoking ban

Posted: Monday, September 10, 2001

JUNEAU (AP) -- The Juneau Assembly is scheduled to take public testimony Monday on an ordinance that would prohibit smoking in public places.

The measure would ban smoking in bingo halls, restaurants, offices, cabs, many hotel rooms, stores, pull tab parlors and bowling alleys. It would not apply to bars.

The Juneau Tobacco Prevention Network proposed the smoking ban as a way to limit exposure to second-hand smoke, said Mary Becker, a community coordinator at SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium.

''We view this as a real health issue,'' said Becker, who also serves as Juneau School Board president. ''Workers don't have choices and children don't have choices. And there are many people who dont know that they should be making a different choice.''

The ordinance would take effect 90 days after adoption. Becker said her group would agree to give businesses six months to comply with the ban.

Juneau Mayor Sally Smith said Assembly members may or may not take action on the proposal Monday, depending on the testimony they hear and how late into the evening the meeting goes. Action could be delayed until the Assembly's next regular meeting in October, Smith said.

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