To the Editor,
The Hancock County CIA Regulation passed in 1999 was a good beginning to preventing second-hand smoke exposure. However, significant exemptions in the regulations mean that Hancock County citizens and workers are still being exposed to the deadly effects of second-hand smoke in local bars, hotels/motels guest rooms, conference or meeting rooms, private office work space and gaming and entertainment establishments.
The past 10 plus years of research provide evidence that comprehensive smoke-free laws and regulations significantly improve public health without negative economic impact on the hospitality industries. In addition to protecting nonsmokers from exposure to second-hand smoke, research has shown these comprehensive policies encourage adult smokers to quit, increase perception of risk from smoking and reduce youth smoking prevalence, initiation and uptake.
I would like to thank the Hancock County Board of Health for all of the work that has been done to date to prevent exposure to second-hand smoke. I strongly encourage local citizens, businesses and organization to support the Board of Health in their efforts to update and expand current CIA Regulations.