Written by Staff
I am writing to you as a volunteer of the American Heart Association and supporter of the proposed smoke-free ordinance the City of Irving is proposing. I grew up around in an environment filled with secondhand smoke and now that I have learned of its negative effects I am a firm believer that smoke-free workplaces are extremely necessary.
Plain and simple, secondhand smoke is a health hazard. It contains more than 4,000 chemicals and can cause many health problems such as heart disease, cancer, respiratory infections and asthma.
As a Texan, I believe that I have the right to breathe clean air in restaurants, bars and other workplaces. I do not choose to smoke and therefore should not have to be exposed to it when I am in public.
Smoke-free workplace policies would improve my health and have a positive fiscal impact on our community. Employers would have lower insurance premium, less absenteeism and more patrons willing to frequent a smoke-free venue. In fact, studies of city ordinances across Texas have demonstrated once these smoke-free ordinances are enacted, food and mixed drink revenues tend to increase.
Secondhand smoke kills smokers and nonsmokers alike. I should not be at a higher risk for health problems because I go to restaurants and bars that allow others to smoke. The harmful effects of secondhand smoke should be eliminated by simply requiring smoke-free workplaces in the City of Irving. I encourage the City Council to strengthen the proposed ordinance and not grandfather existing business and make all hotels smoke-free – the science speaks for itself- there is no safe alternative other than a complete smoke-free ordinance that covers all public workplaces.
Tim Hauter - AHA Volunteer
Minister of Music for Northview Baptist Church