Smoking column hit the target

December 3, 2011

Thanks so much for Mickey Maurer’s Nov. 28 “Mayor, Read the Smoke Signals” column. I still cannot believe that Indianapolis and indeed, the entire state can be so backward related to creating a smoke-free environment. As the surgeon general has declared, “The debate is over. The evidence and facts are indisputable.” Why can’t the mayor and governor get it?

When we passed a comprehensive smoke-free ordinance in Hancock County, the bar owners were up in arms. I think they would tell you today that their business has not been hurt, and in some cases, has been helped, by the ordinance. I guess Hancock County should be inviting all of the Super Bowl participants out to where they can enjoy a smoke-free environment in our restaurants and bars.

I also am retired military and I have seen too many of my friends die of smoking-related causes. To me the noble and right thing is to show them we care by taking steps to discourage a deadly habit that, on average, will take 16 years off their life if they start smoking as a teenager.

We have to thank our veterans for fighting for our freedom. But, does that freedom extend to having others breathe second-hand smoke that has been proven to be deadly to thousands of people annually? I don’t think so!

Bobby Keen
president and CEO
Hancock Regional Hospital, Greenfield

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