Reading at the Crossroads

Reading at the Crossroads is an archive for columns and letters which appeared in the Terre Haute Tribune Star. I also blog here when my patience is exhausted by what I feel is irritating, irrational and/or ironic in life. --gary daily

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Location: Terre Haute, Indiana, United States

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

CROSSROADS COMMENT -- Clean-air ordinance— in name only


[Terre Haute Tribune Star, Letter to the Editor, July 1, 2007]

Clean-air ordinance— in name only

The Vigo County (Not-So) Clean Air ordinance goes into effect on July 2, 2007.

On this first Monday in July, some eating establishments and drinking dens that serve food will be required by law to allow people to breathe while they enjoy a meal or a few cool ones.

Congratulations to those establishments which went smoke free early. Patronize these eateries and bars and thank the management for their responsible decisions.

Only tepid applause should go to the timid, those who continued to offer deadly fumes along with the food and drink they serve to the public. Many waited until the very last day to do the right thing. Why?

And what can be said to those who run restaurants with bars and have gone to the useless expense of supposedly “sealing” in a smoking area and adding an equally useless ventilation system? Study after study shows that these measures are not effective. Doors swing open and shut, deadly, smoke-filled air escapes the vents. This is the (Not-So) Clean Air ordinance in action.

These establishments deserve neither praise nor tepid applause. Stay away from them if you want to breathe healthy and avoid that nose-curling stale smoke smell on your clothing. If you have to work in one of these places (go here for latest study on this), forced to inhale disease causing smoke pollution shift after shift, get a baseline health exam on your lung capacity now. It will come in handy when a class action suit is brought against businesses that ignore health standards in the work place.

And then we have the local bars and semi-posh watering holes around the community. They were fully and disproportionately represented by the Tavern Owners Association lobby when the (Not-So) Clean Air ordinance was being passed with a wink and a nudge. A “compromise” that compromised nothing but the public’s health.

So the cave-in compromise engineered by this good ol’ boy lobby leaves us with many smoke-filled, health threatening, establishments. These will continue to provide ashtrays for the few while the many cough in the background, ignored and abused.

To the many, I say, vote with your feet. Walk out. Take a big breath of fresh air. Head for a bar that shows sense and consideration in regard to their patrons and employees. Enjoy a smoke-free establishment where you can offer a toast to someone’s health and not feel like you’re being stupid or a hypocrite.
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For earlier posts on Vigo County Indiana's heads up a cloud of smoke stance, go to:

Vigo Count Waves Goodbye


Full and Fair Smoking Ban Not to Be

Property has its duties as well as its rights

Smoke Free Bars and Hockey Helmets







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