The Washington Clean Indoor Air Act ensures that all indoor workplaces and public places are 100% smokefree in Washington State. Thanks to Initiative 901, which passed by 64% 2005. Washington workers and residents now breathe clean, healthy indoor air in all workplaces throughout the state, including restaurants, bars and (non-tribal) casinos.
The initiative enjoyed broad statewide support and passed in every county statewide. This victory marked the first state to pass a 100% comprehensive smokefree workplace law including both restaurants and bars, via the ballot box.
The result at the polls in Washington sent a firm message to elected officials across the country: Voters overwhelmingly support strong smokefree protections which protect all workers. The campaign was led by Healthy Indoor Air for All Washington, a statewide group made up of thousands advocates and organizations such as health groups, hospitals, unions, faith groups, and the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce. Special thanks to ANR members in Washington State who contributed to this campaign.
For more information on the state law and how it affects Washington's residents workers and businesses, visit www.secondhandsmokesyou.com. You can also click here for FAQs from the King County Health Department or call (206) 296-7613 for more information.
Smokefree indoor air is good for health, good for business,
and good for Washington. Enjoy the smokefree air, Washington!
THE FIGHT FOR LOCAL SMOKEFREE LAWS IN WASHINGTON:
Some people have inquired, "Why didn't Washington pass more local laws before going for a statewide law?". Great question. The answer, is because they were preempted from passing any laws on the local level. Below, you'll find the story from Pierce County.
In 2003, the Pierce County Board of Health in WA passed an ordinance requiring all workplaces and public places within Pierce County to be 100% smokefree. This ordinance was the first of its kind in the state of Washington. In January of 2004, the Entertainment Industry Coalition filed a lawsuit to repeal the ordinance, arguing that state law prevents local Washington municipalities from passing more protective smokefree measures. Smokefree advocates fought to take the case directly to the Washington State Supreme Court. The WA State Supreme heard oral arguments on November 16, 2004.
In February 2005, the Washington State Supreme Court released their ruling. They ruled against the Pierce County Health Department and this decision reversed Pierce County's 100% smokefree ordinance. How did the ruling impact other localities wishing to go smokefree in Washington State? It was bad news. The ruling suggested that the (then current) Washington state law restricted local communities in Washington from passing smokefree laws.
Washington's lack of local control was a result of tobacco industry interference way back when the so-called "Washington Clean Indoor Air" law was first passed. Over the past few decades, the tobacco industry has stripped away local control in over 15 states across the country. States are now working hard to reverse preemption where it exists. And to prevent it where they still can.
In the case of Washington State, advocates went to the state legislators in Olympia, asking them to return local control to Washington's cities and towns, or to pass a comprehensive statewide law. The legislature refused to act. In response, Healthy Indoor Air for All in Washington, successfully gathered over 300,000 signatures to place Initiative 901 on the statewide ballot. The rest is history.
2013 State Legislative Session: 1/14/2013 - 4/28/2013 (Est.)
State Quitline Number: 1-877-270-STOP (270-7867)
American Cancer Society Quitline: 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669)
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brief: Spokane Public Schools bans e-cigarettes
fines hookah lounges, orders them to curtail smoking
invited to discuss impact of marijuana laws
Bans Use of E-Cigarettes
obvious at tobacco-free WSUV
Morgan bans commercial recreational pot establishments
Sports Bar Exploits Loophole, Lets Patrons Smoke Pot
bans smoking in city parks
Our View/Workplace health For smoke-free casinos
smoking ban starts for local tenants
pot sales a threat to I-502 revenue
residents, city attorney push to outlaw public pot smoking
city attorney wants ban on using pot in public
marijuana topic for the city: Public-consumption policies
list of rules may be increasing at Yakima parks
Tours Make a Great Alaska Cruise Excursion from Seattle
of murky laws emerges as more US states OK use of ...
from the ashes
Mike: Smoking in city parks
landlords worried, confused about marijuana laws
No to public smoking
smoking ban sought
wants butts out in Yakima city parks
City Attorney Holmes proposes private marijuana clubs, home delivery
Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes is asking the state Liquor Control Board to consider allowing private marijuana clubs and home-delivery services. But a liquor board spokesman says Holmes' suggestions are unlikely to be considered. In a letter dated June 10, Holmes said marijuana clubs should be considered to prevent widespread smoking in public, and to give renters and tourists the same access to pot that homeowners will enjoy. Renters and tourists should not be forced to use marijuana in parks or on sidewalks, he said in the letter.
City Council Considers Smoking Ban in Parks
proposes smoking ban in city parks
County campuses go tobacco free in 2014
on board with program promoting smoke-free housing
claims she was fired for inhaling second-hand pot smoke
smoking ban has neighbors in a huff
WENATCHEE Ever since Central Washington Hospital banned smoking on its Wenatchee campus in February, smokers have made their way to a sidewalk to light up.
Residents of the Fuller Street neighborhood now say they have to put up with cigarette butts and the sight of people in scrubs and other hospital workers, visitors and even patients smoking near their homes, The Wenatchee World reported Tuesday. "Now all the cigarette butts blow over here to our house and we have to pick them up," said Dean Dillard. "You see all these professionals with their scrubs on and it's just not a good vision," said his wife, Joyce. "Do they wash their hands and brush their teeth before they go back to work? I wonder." The hospital put out a sand-filled bucket for butts and it's an eyesore, said Susie Huntley, another Fuller Street resident. "It's patients, visitors and employees," she said. "They sit right across from our house and smoke. I've got a couple of small kids and they see this and smell it and they want to know why."
River recognized for tobacco-free initiative
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services awarded Green River Community College the Fresh Air Gold Campus Award for its implementation of a tobacco-free policy. At least 1,159 college campuses in the United States had adopted a 100 percent smoke or tobacco-free policies as of April, according to Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights.
touch on big topics in town hall
pot draws tourists to Colo., Wash., for 4/20
Thousands of people are expected to join an unofficial counterculture holiday celebrating marijuana in Colorado and Washington this coming weekend, including out-of staters and even packaged tours. The events and crowds will test the limits of new laws permitting pot use by adults.
moves to ban marijuana from the state's bars
campus will be tobacco-free next fall
Colo. bars test limits of legal pot laws
youth survey: Cigarette smoking and drinking down in high school, marijuana
lounge shut down for smoking ban violations
Illegal tobacco sales to minors increase
Senate Bill would ban smoking in vehicle with underage passengers
more casinos embrace non-smokers?
Island landlord tries to ban pot in apartment building
hookah lounge in Pierce County taken to court over smoking law
River Campuses Tobacco-Free in 2013
in retail sale of tobacco to minors
sports bar in Olympia to allow pot smoking
County Housing Authority to Make Public Housing Smoke-Free Starting
bans smoking in public parks
public housing good for health, safety and costs
Housing Authority adopts smoking ban, dwellings to go smoke-free ...
relocate, policy succeeds
ban could be addictive
... Many colleges across the nation are adopting smoking bans. There are now 814 campuses in the United States that have enacted a complete ban on smoking, according to the American Nonsmokers Rights Foundation. ...
River to go tobacco free starting Jan. 1
Green River Community College will become the ninth Washington college campus to go 100 percent smoke-free when a ban on tobacco use goes into effect ...
Community College Honored For Going Smoke Free
Just in time for the start of the school year next Monday, Everett Community College has received the Snohomish Health District Healthy Workplace Award for ...
hookah bars remain open despite Washington's indoor smoking ban?
bans smoking in city parks
The smoking ban was amended from the original proposal that prohibited
smoking on all ... The original proposal also banned smokeless tobacco
within the city.
proposed Tobacco-Free campus plan moves ahead
State Tobacco Quitline resumes service for all residents
Adults in Washington who are considering quitting tobacco can now get
free help from the Department of Health's toll-free Washington State
Tobacco Quitline. Calling a quitline significantly increases a person's
chances of kicking the habit.
council expands smoking ban to library, community garden
Our View: Still Deadly, Still Illegal
Secondhand smoke is still deadly, and smoking is still banned in Vancouver
... and enforcement of the park-smoking ban passed by Vancouver City
Council six ...
Board gets serious about smoking bylaw
ban rightfully includes private vehicles
The Everett Community College Board of Trustees on Tuesday night approved
a campus ban on the use of tobacco products. The policy, which starts
banned on EvCC campus
EVERETT -- Students and staff at Everett Community College will no
longer be able to smoke or chew tobacco on campus beginning this fall
-- even inside their own cars.
A ban on tobacco in Vancouver's parks has been in effect for six months, but that ... Smoking and tobacco use is banned in city parks and the sidewalks around them, ... Smoking continues there, despite a new ordinance banning all tobacco ...
butts about it; King County bans smoking in parks
The Metropolitan King County Council voted 6-1 Monday to impose a ban
on ... Island and Auburn that have imposed bans, or partial bans on
smoking in parks ...
considering smoking ban for all county parks
River CC could become smoke-free campus
GRCC would be the fourth Washington community college to enforce such
a rule, if it's passed later this month.
King County Ban Smoking In Parks?
King County leaders are looking to clear the air in more than just
bars and restaurants. Last week the council committee voted to ban tobacco
products in local ...
lounges under fire
Organizations like Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights (ANR) and smokefreewashington.com advocate against these hookah lounges as well as casinos that allow ...
County weighs tobacco ban in parks
King County would join a growing list of local parks, hospitals and
schools with policies for tobacco-free areas under a proposed ordinance,
prohibiting tobacco ...
parks in Everett?
By Debra Smith Should the city ban smoking from its public parks? The Everett Parks Board talked about the possibility last night.
Council to Discuss Citizen Survey, Tobacco Free Parks at ...
Ban in Woodinville Parks Approved
By Annie Archer Smoking is now banned in Woodinville city parks. ... the success of such bans in California and City Attorney Greg Rubstello said the ban in ...
bars growing in popularity, but are they legal?
Washington State passed the smoking ban in 2005 with over sixty percent of the vote. Since then, hookah bars have been on the rise near college campuses as ...
Free Parks: Mandatory or Voluntary, Council to Decide Tuesday
Woodinville parks will be tobacco free, but will that be law or a suggestion?
That is the decision council will make at its meeting Tuesday, ...
Our View: Ban Smoking in County Parks
Steve Stuart and Tom Mielke still dont get it. The two Clark
County commissioners just cant bring themselves to ban smoking
in county parks.Oh, theyre getting it when it comes
to political points from some folks who praise them for supposedly upholding
smokers rights. But heres what erodes their credibility
as they acknowledge that applause: By continuing to heap confusing details
and detailed regulations upon smokers in parks, the two commissioners
have done everything BUT ban smoking in county parks. Heres what
they were up to earlier this week:
Pierce County health officials have gone to court to try to shut down
a Tacoma hookah lounge, saying it violates the state's anti-smoking
decides against banning tobacco in parks
Clark County commissioners decided to strengthen tobacco restrictions
in parts of county parks but stopped short of matching the city of Vancouvers
In 2005, the county board approved a voluntary tobacco-free
compliance program. The county designated certain areas in its parks
as tobacco free.
zones in county parks? King County Council to consider it
Tobacco use is still the leading cause of preventable death and
illness in King County, and this ordinance would further expand our
smoke-free spaces so ...
the fog (smoke?) of war, cigar bars again fail to become law
Supporters of exempting cigar and pipe clubs from the state's ban on
smoking in bars thought they had a chance as the special session of
the Washington ...
to Tobacco Tax Bill Would Undo Smoking Ban for Cigar Bars
Instead of passing a budget during the special session, legislators
are busy trying to chip away at voter-approved initiatives. On a voice
vote in Friday nights ways and means committee (so the roll call
isnt available), legislators added an amendment to the roll
your own cigarettes bill. (The roll your own bill
would fix a loophole in cigarette sales that allows smokers who buy
loose tobacco to avoid paying cigarette taxes. The bipartisan bill would
recoup about $12 million a year in revenue for the state.) The roll
your own bill didnt make it out of committee, but not before
legislators did approve an amendment. The amendment, totally ignoring
2005 s voter-approved indoor smoking ban, would allow the state to license
cigar bars. Sponsored by Sen. Mark Schoesler (R-9, Ritzville), the amendment
was a re-do of a cigar bar bill that failed last year.
The future is unclear for Washington states cigar smokers, after a
proposal to allow them to smoke at some businesses became part of a
tobacco-related measure Friday night.
The smoking areas would
need to be separate, enclosed spaces with independent ventilation systems.
In 2005, Washington voters banned smoking in public ...
takes on smoking in parks
The City Council debated the idea of prohibiting smoking in all or
some of city parks and play areas on March 19. The Council sought to
eliminate smoking near areas where children may be present.
opt for smoking areas away from entrances
In arguing for stronger nonsmoking measures, Panerio said the county
should ... smoke can result in higher medical costs for nonsmokers as
well, she said.
Council Votes to Ban Tobacco in City Parks
By Tony Dondero The Shoreline City Council unanimously approved an
ordinance Monday night declaring the city's parks tobacco-free. Ordinance
County funds ASSU's smoke-free campus effort
Since fall quarter, ASSU's website advertised that one of its main goals for the year would be to make campus smoke free. With spring quarter rapidly ...
Parks to Go Tobacco Free, by Law or Voluntarily?
However, most of the council members agreed that tobacco free parks
were desirable but disagreed on whether it should be law. Mayor Bernie
Talmas said he ...
Secondhand smoke is a hazard
Back then, no one knew the results of secondhand smoke like they do
now. ... So when they passed a law that smoking in city parks should
stop, I said Yeah.
Starting April 2, 2012, Pierce County Library System will be tobacco
free. To increase the Library's comfortable, accessible and welcoming
environment for ...
County launches smoke-free housing campaign
Pierce County health officials hope to help by launching a new campaign to promote smoke-free housing. Pierce County has been working with landlords to ...
should ignore attempt to allow cigar loophole to indoor-smoking ban
Washington's indoor-smoking ban is effective, fair and popular, writes
Seattle restaurateur Patrick Pearse McAleese. Legislators should ignore
seek to ban smoking in cars with children
of Washington Voters Oppose Special Rule to Allow Cigar ...
Study: Washington's Tobacco Prevention Program Saved $1.5 ...
City Council bans using tobacco in public parks, trails ...
on tobacco in Vancouver parks set for public hearing
Kirkland ban smoking in parks?
Should people be allowed to smoke in public parks? Thats the
question the city of Kirkland is posing to the public. ...
Should tobacco be prohibited in parks, playgrounds, walking trails,
sports fields and other public outdoor recreation areas? Thats
what the City of Kirkland would like to know from residents, park visitors,
and others. An online survey will be available through Friday, October
28 that gauges public interest in whether the City should enact legislation
that would prohibit the use of smoke and smokeless tobacco in City owned
and maintained parks, open space, and other public recreation areas.
To take the survey, go to www.kirklandwa.gov/tobaccosurvey.
Ban Coming to Kennewick Housing Authority
Housing Authority bans smoking in all its units
officials consider blanket smoking ban
Senate approves exceptions to smoking ban
Delvin's cigar-room bill clears Senate
Senate approves exceptions to smoking ban
Washington state senators have approved a plan that would allow cigar and pipe smoking at a limited number of establishments.
Delvin-backed cigar room bill moves to House
Up to 500 tobacco shops would have the option to pay $6000 each to
allow indoor cigar and pipe smoking. Any place where cigar smoking is
allowed would be physically separated from places where smoking is banned
by law. Cigarettes would not be allowed.
lawmakers may ease state's strict smoking ban
session update: Day 10
County may ban electronic cigarettes
If you fire up a battery-powered cigarette in public, are you harming
yourself and others? ...
Housing Providers Join Smoke-Free Trend
smokers seeking right to smoke in public
SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) As quests for freedom go, it's not exactly the fight against apartheid in South Africa. But cigar smokers around the country are fed up with smoking bans that prevent them from enjoying stogies in cigar bars with friends.
A rising number of states have moved to exempt cigars from indoor smoking bans, often by establishing cigar bars or smoking lounges inside cigar stores. Pro-cigar groups have sprung up nationally and in most states, spreading a message that their product is fundamentally different from cigarettes.
Cigar smokers are not interested in exposing the general public to their pungent fumes, said Joe Arundel, president of the Cigar Association of Washington. But they don't see why they can't smoke in the company of fellow enthusiasts a gathering known as a "herf" in cigar circles in businesses dedicated solely to the product.
"It's not like people walk into a cigar store by accident," Arundel, who operates Rain City Cigar in Seattle, said.
Washington used to have cigar bars and lounges. But a ban on all indoor smoking in 2005 put them out of business. A bill introduced in the state Legislature this year that would allow a limited number of cigar lounges and bars has languished in committee, after getting vehement opposition from the state Department of Health.
The Health Department opposes any change to the state's indoor smoking ban, one of the nation's first, said Tim Church, a spokesman for the agency.
"The indoor smoking law was passed by a great majority in every
county in Washington state," Church said. ...
/ MCDERMOTT: Cigar-lounge bill wont help our health or pocketbooks
A bill now before the Legislature would allow certain businesses to
buy a license that would put peoples health at risk by allowing
cigar smoking in designated lounges. ...
MY TURN | Cigar lounge bill goes against the voters' will
How does making more people exposed to, addicted to and sick from tobacco
to "raise more money for critical health care programs" make
sense? The cigar lounge bill (SB 5542) would do just that. ...
schools consider banning electronic cigarettes
Although people younger than 18 can purchase electronic cigarettes,
they are now prohibited from using them at some Washington schools.
bill to allow cigar lounges faces an uncertain future in Olympia
Senate Bill 5542, which had a hearing in the Senate Ways and Means
Committee today, would set up special smoking endorsements people could
buy and contribute the money to the states Basic Health Program,
a proposal supporters say would be safe but opponents argue would be
bad health policy for Washington. ...
reason to carve exceptions in state smoking ban
Valley council bans e-cigarettes for minors
county regulations limit electronic cigarettes
would charge to allow cigar-shop smoking lounges
OLYMPIA Some state lawmakers are looking to carve out an exception to the state smoking ban by allowing customers to smoke cigars or pipes at some cigar lounges and tobacco shops.
Under bills proposed in the state House and Senate, cigar lounges and retail tobacco stores could apply for a state endorsement that would allow patrons to smoke cigars or pipe tobacco in their shops. Cigarettes, however, would be banned, and the designated smoking area would be physically separated from other areas that prohibit smoking.
No more than 100 cigar lounges and 500 retail tobacco shops in the state could allow smoking.
The cost of applying for the state endorsement wouldn't be cheap: $15,000 for cigar lounges, and $5,000 for tobacco stores. The stores would have to pay the fee every year to renew their endorsements.
The House bill, HB 1683, would direct 95 percent of revenue from the
fees to a scholarship program for foster youth. The Senate version,
SB 5542, would allocate that same chunk to health care. In both bills,
the remaining 5 percent would go to administrative costs ...
ban on flavored tobacco creates sparks
You wouldn't think peach-flavored cigarillos would cause such a ruckus.
Summary of Bill: Sales of Flavored, Scented, or Capsular Smokeless
Tobacco. The Youth Access to Tobacco Law is amended to prohibit the
sale or distribution of tobacco products that ...
Biz Buzz: Legislature hears bills to allow cigar smoking in Washington
Stogie smokers, your time may have come.
Bills were read Friday in both the State House and Senate that would allow cigar smoking in public places.
The bills, introduced on the cold ashes of the controversial closure of a cigar lounge at Tacomas El Gaucho steakhouse, stipulate that those establishments seeking a smoking license meet several requirements.
Among those, a proprietor would:
Fees collected under the law would go both to a basic health plan trust
account and for administration of the licensing ...
County health panel stamps out e-cigarettes
King County Board of Health members restricted sales and use of electronic cigarettes last month.
The e-cigarette is a battery-powered device designed to deliver a nicotine-based and flavored liquid vapor.
The board voted unanimously to restrict the sales of e-cigarettes or
any other unapproved nicotine delivery devices only to people 18 and
older. The board prohibited free or highly discounted electronic smoking
devices or unapproved nicotine delivery products. The use of e-cigarette
devices in places where smoking is prohibited by law is also banned
may expand smoking ban to public parks
MERIDIAN -- The Central District Health Department and city of Meridian are working to expand the city's smoking ban to include public parks.
Meridian already has an ordinance in place that prohibits smoking in areas where "no smoking" signs are posted.
What is now being proposed is a resolution that would add public parks to the list of places that can post those signs.
Late last year, Central District Health won a grant to work with cities on a smoke-free park policy.
Meridian Parks and Recreation Director Steve Siddoway says one of the
main points for this resolution would be to reduce people's exposure
to unwanted second-hand smoke ...
of Tacoma El Gaucho folds fight in court over cigars; will seek ...
The champion of Tacoma stogie smokers has folded his upscale tent and agreed to a permanent injunction against the public threat posed by cigars.
Temporarily. Stay tuned.
Seven months after Pierce County Superior Court Judge Ronald Culpepper agreed to a temporary order sought by health officials to ban cigar smoking at El Gaucho, the order on Nov. 29 was signed by Culpepper in permanent ink.
Both the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department and El Gaucho owner Paul Mackay agreed to the order. No fines were levied nor attorneys fees awarded by the order.
A trial on the matter scheduled to begin Thursday was canceled.
Mackay had vowed earlier this year to support what he believes is the right of his guests to enjoy cigars inside a separate, purpose-built and ventilated section of the downtown Tacoma restaurant.
According to his attorney, the fight continues ...
Anti-smoking efforts saved $1.5 billion
Against the backdrop of a grim funding picture, state health officials touted their tobacco prevention efforts Wednesday, saying they had prevented 13,000 premature deaths and nearly 36,000 hospitalizations in the last decade.
The numbers were based on a study done by the Oregon Department of Human Services. Officials said they had submitted the study, which was peer-reviewed but not randomly controlled, to a journal for publication. The declined to say which journal and did not release a copy of the study.
Officials said the study found that five dollars were saved in health care costs for every dollar spent on tobacco prevention, for a savings of $1.5 billion since the state began tobacco prevention in 2000. The effort includes a toll-free quit line and anti-smoking campaigns.
"More people are living longer, healthier lives. I'm proud that
our work has a lot to do with that," said state Health Secretary
Mary Selecky at a news conference Wednesday. She said more than 150,000
people had called the quit line (1-800-QUIT-NOW) for help. ...
Walla hospitals ban smoking
WALLA WALLA, Wash.The first of the year you won't be able to smoke at two Walla Walla hospitals. They are going tobacco free.
Smoking has been banned at all public locations and places of employment in Washington State since 2005. Now General Hospital and Providence Saint Mary Medical Center are joining in on the ban January 1st.
"Tobacco causes cancer, it promotes illness, and disease. We should be tobacco free as a way to encourage both the community and our own staff to be healthier," says Kathleen Obenland, Providence Saint Mary Medical Center.
The Washington State Department of Health says almost 11% of people
in Walla Walla County smoke. That's about $12.4 million in healthcare
and lost wages every year ...
encourages smoke-free apartments, condos
People living in apartments and condominiums in King County now have the option to set a no-smoking rule.
Dr. Bud Nicola, with the King County Board of Health, told KIRO Radio's
Dori Monson on Tuesday, "The resolution encourages voluntary action
by developers, by home owners associations, and by housing authorities.
We think, in fact, that these folks don't know that they have a legal
right to set reasonable rules about protecting the health of their residents."
Housing Authority Considers Going Smoke-Free
KENNEWICK -- It's a fight between your rights and your money. KEPR Action News found out the Kennewick Housing Authority may go smoke free.That means anyone who lives in a KHA property won't be able to smoke indoors, in the yard or anywhere on site.
And KEPR discovered it's a trend happening around the Northwest.
Cheryl Hunter knows she shouldn't smoke, but she's not quitting. If Cheryl doesn't kick the habit, she could get kicked out of her apartment.
"I feel that we don't need to be pushed into a corner and given an ultimatum," said Hunter.
The Kennewick Housing Authority may make all of its properties smoke-free
by February 2011. ...
Co. health board pushes smoking ban in apartments
State law already prevents smoking in most public spaces - but how about a ban in your home?
Citing the dangers of second-hand smoke, the King County Board of Health passed a resolution that encourages landlords to ban smoking in their buildings.
The resolution encourages all multi-family housing to adopt no-smoking policies.
The King County Department of Health says it gets complaints almost daily about smoke drifting into non-smokers apartments. ...
on smoking ban in Tacoma apartments put off
The Tacoma-Pierce County Board of Health is in no rush to lend its support to an effort to restrict smoking in apartment buildings.
At a study session Wednesday, board members juggled the idea like a hot potato, deciding in the end to seek more information before they sign on to anything.
"The cart is way before the horse at this point,"health board Chairman Dick Muri said. "Stay tuned." ...
smoking ban? Let's have the debate
Washingtons indoor smoke ban got its start in Pierce County, whose gutsy Board of Health forced the issue upon the state in 2003 by passing a push-the-envelope local ban.
Now the board ought to put an apartment smoke ban on the state agenda, as a citizens group is urging. Its a seemingly radical idea, but the case for banning smoking in multi-unit dwellings sounds increasingly compelling. That case ought to be argued in Olympia.
PUSH People United for Smoke-free Housing wants the board to endorse such a ban to give the proposal more credibility in the Legislature. That shouldnt be a stretch for the people who oversee the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department; their interest is public health, presumably undiluted by concern for smokers rights.
The best argument against a ban is that it would extend state regulation too deeply into peoples lives. That libertarian logic works well for single-family homes; in apartments and condominiums, it is undermined by the fact that there are usually nonsmoking neighbors living under the same roof.
When neighbors share walls and ventilation systems, and tobacco smoke inevitably seeps through gaps, cracks, ducts, electrical and plumbing conduits, appeals to personal choice cut both ways. ...
approves plan to limit smoking in public housing
Public housing agencies in Snohomish County have a financial incentive to adopt smoking bans after a new policy passed the County Council on Wednesday.
The policy gives bonus points in the funding process to agencies that ban smoking in all or most of their facilities. It's expected to affect about 700 units over the next five years, said Dean Weitenhagen, the county's supervisor of housing, homelessness and community development.
The county awards about $3 million in capital funds each year for public
housing, but supplies no housing directly. ...
County to crack down on public housing smoking
Snohomish County is moving closer to banning smoking in the county's public housing projects.
The Herald in Everett reports that the Snohomish County Council Wednesday
will consider giving public housing agencies financial incentives to
ban smoking in their buildings, citing secondhand smoke and fire dangers,
as well as money saved cleaning smokers' dwellings. ...
Co. considers banning smoking in apartments
TACOMA, Wash. -- The fight over smoking restrictions in Washington state has moved from bars and office-buildings to private residences.
The News Tribune reports that a group called People United for Smoke-Free Housing has asked the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Board to classify secondhand smoke as a "nuisance" in multi-unit housing, because smoke can seep from one apartment to another and bother other residents. That could allow landlords to evict people for smoking.
The proposal, which backers hope to have inserted into the state's landlord-tenant law, is one of dozens of attempts in communities around the country to extend no-smoking restrictions to rental housing.
"This is the last piece of the puzzle that needs to be placed,"
said Nan Hogan of University Place, who helped write the proposed legislation.
"We've got smoke-free motel rooms, smoke-free restaurants, smoke-free
bars, smoke-free office buildings and even prisons. Why should we go
home and have to breathe it there? ...
group pushing for smoke-free apartments
In Washington, as elsewhere, the battle over secondhand smoke is moving from airplanes, bars and office buildings to an arena that once seemed impenetrable: private residences.
Next month, Tacoma-Pierce County Health Board members will consider a proposal to classify secondhand smoke as a "nuisance" in multi-unit housing.
The proposal, which backers want inserted into the state's landlord-tenant law, is one of dozens of attempts in communities around the country to extend no-smoking restrictions from public places to rental housing.
"This is the last piece of the puzzle that needs to be placed," said Nan Hogan of University Place, who helped write the proposed legislation. "We've got smoke-free motel rooms, smoke-free restaurants, smoke-free bars, smoke-free office buildings and even prisons. Why should we go home and have to breathe it there?" ...
Washington's smoking rate decline good, but more is needed
Washington state has wisely put a lot of resources and effort into smoking prevention. The focus has been on keeping young people from starting to smoke and helping smokers quit.
As a result, this state now has the third-lowest adult-smoking rate in the nation, down from No. 6 last year. . . .
Ironically, the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program could be stronger if state lawmakers had not used some of that money to plug budget holes. In 2002, when the state was faced with a $1.5 billion budget shortfall, the Legislature authorized revenue bonds backed by part of the state's portion of the revenue stream from the settlement. The future payments were essentially sold off for pennies on the dollar. ...
Washington has third-lowest smoking rate nationwide
Fewer Washington adults light up these days.
The adult smoking rate has dropped to 14.8 percent a new low and the third-lowest smoking rate in the nation, a survey released last week by the state Department of Health shows.
The latest ranking is the best since measurements started in all 50 states in 1995. The rate declined from 15.3 percent in the previous year.
Our rise to a number three national ranking is good news for the health of people in Washington, state Secretary of Health Mary Selecky said in a news release.
But the survey showed people from low income and lower educational
backgrounds continue to smoke at higher rates. Moreover, smokeless tobacco
use including chew and similar products is also on the
rise among smokers. ...
Law Associated With Higher-than-expected Taxable Retail Sales for Bars
and Taverns in Washington State
lets plan for tobacco ban smolder
still smoking, but bystanders are breathing easier
With help, hookah lounge finding way around smoking ban
local health officials got a surprise instead when the owner of a Seattle hookah lounge remodeled twice as big... and says everything's in compliance.
Court documents say Seattle-King County Public Health is now going after the person who told him how he could do it.
"I'm in compliance with the law," said Adel Abud, owner of Majles Cafe in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. "I don't see why they keep coming back to me."
Inside the old warehouse on Broadway Avenue, smoke bubbles out of traditional Middle Eastern hookahs, and from the people who gather around to use them. . . .
But Abud is meeting resistance from the public health officials, who said places like Majles have taken "creative measures" to circumvent the statewide smoking ban on public places and places of employment. . . .
However, the examiner also left a laundry list of things Abud could do to be in compliance.
And he did exactly that.
Last month, a newer, remodeled Majles opened its doors, twice the size of the original building. Abud said he's included things like a 25-foot smoke-free walkway, and area for checking IDs, and distinct separation between where people smoke and where they buy the tobacco, all recommendations made by the examiner. ...
Inside Washington Homes Declines by More Than Percent Since 2000
OLYMPIA, Wash., May 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New research released today by the Washington State Department of Health shows the number of people smoking inside homes in our state has declined by 61 percent since 2000. The drop is more than double the overall decline in adult smoking during the same period.
The department's comprehensive Tobacco Prevention and Control Program is on target to meet its goal of reducing in-home secondhand smoke exposure to 6 percent or less by 2013. This new research confirms an encouraging trend. The state rate dropped from 19.3 percent in 2000 when the program was established to 7.6 percent in 2008.
"This is good news for the health of people in our state," said Secretary of Health Mary Selecky. "As more homes adopt smoke-free rules, fewer kids will be at risk for respiratory infections and diseases like bronchitis. So, more kids are growing up healthier, and are less likely to start smoking."
Despite a healthy drop in overall secondhand smoke exposure, an estimated 370,000 adults still report someone smoking inside their home. People from low-income or low-educational backgrounds are nearly twice as likely to report someone smoking inside their home.
The Department of Health is focusing on reaching people who live in rental houses or apartments, which have a much higher percentage of low-income residents than owner-occupied homes. The rate of smoking inside the home among all renters is 12.5 percent. That's more than double the 6 percent rate among homeowners.
Apartments and similar housing pose the added concern of smoke drifting
from one unit or balcony to the next. Smoke can enter through doors,
windows, ventilation systems, plumbing, and even electrical outlets.
bar says it found loophole in indoor smoking ban
Capitol Hill's Cobra Lounge allows members to light-up indoors, and the owner claims it's completely legal.
The lounge just recently opened, even though the smoking ban's been in place the past five years. The owner says he found a way to obey the law and still run his business, and says he's not just blowing smoke. . . .
The revised code of Washington states "no person may smoke in a public place or in any place of employment."
It's a pretty broad catch-all that would seem to ban smoking at the Cobra Lounge as well. But the manager says customers must fill out a registration card, so only members can buy and smoke tobacco inside.
"As long as you're over 18, you're more than welcome to grab one," Cobb said.
What is less clear is how the Cobra Lounge protects employees from having to breathe the smoke. ...
judge says no to cigar smoking at El Gaucho's VIP Lounge in Tacoma
Five grand or not, Sean Diddy Combs may no longer smoke at El Gaucho in Tacoma.
The air was temporarily cleared of both cigar smoke and ambiguity Friday as Pierce County Superior Court Judge Ronald Culpepper ordered that patrons of an upscale Tacoma cigar lounge be separated from their stogies.
The VIP Lounge, which is attached to Tacomas El Gaucho steakhouse, had reopened to cigar smokers several weeks ago after costly renovations by restaurant owner Paul Mackay. He said at the time he believed the changes would satisfy a state law that otherwise prohibits smoking in public places.
The changes include an airlock system that divides the airflow within the lounge from the air in the stakehouse. [sic]
The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department disagreed, and on April 7 moved to close the lounge which is owned and operated by a separate corporation.
At Fridays hearing, Culpepper found that smoking occurred at the lounge and that there appeared to be strong connections between it and the steakhouse. ...
testing waters for smoke-free parks policy
Should Longview parks be smoke-free?
A city committee has been appointed to explore that question, and the group has created an online survey to weigh public opinion on the matter.
To access the survey go to www.mylongview.com and click on the "Tobacco Survey" on the home page. The survey is also available on the Cowlitz County Health Department web page. The online survey is available until May 7, 2010.
Along with the online survey, members of the committee are conducting polls at ball games, local businesses and events, and on Earth Day on April 17 at the Cowlitz Expo Center.
The information will be used to develop recommendations to the Longview City Council on the future of smoking in City parks. Report and recommendations to the City Council are expected to be made by the end of May or early June. ...
rules get emphasis in Spokane
The Spokane Regional Health District has begun its own kind of emphasis patrol, seeking to find, educate and, if necessary, punish businesses that violate the states Smoking in Public Places law. The health district is adding a part-time staffer to investigate an additional 40 complaints a month.
The law, which took effect in 2005, made it illegal to smoke inside
any public building or place of employment, and within 25 feet of entrances,
exits, windows that open or ventilation intakes. Between 2006 and 2009,
the health district wrote an average of about 540 warnings a year to
businesses violating the law, according to Jill Johnson, spokeswoman
for the district. Each warning came with a re-inspection fee of $75,
which rose to $100 last year, she said. ...
rules for smokers in Seattle parks
SEATTLE -- Smokers and tobacco users, there's a new rule you need to know in Seattle. As of today, city parks are restricting where you can light up.
For smokers, it's another restriction. They can't smoke in planes, in restaurants, at the ballpark and now parks.
"Well this is one element in what's an overall code of conduct," said Dewey Potter, Seattle Parks spokesperson.
But it's a revised policy. Earlier this year, the parks superintendent issued a memo that completely banned tobacco in parks.
"He believes that the public is a majority behind it," said Potter.
But then the policy was modified. Now, you can smoke in a park, but watch where you are.
Starting April 1, 2010, the new tobacco use policy in Seattle city
parks is that users must be 25-feet away from others if they are going
to use tobacco. This includes chewing tobacco, cigarettes, cigars and
any tobacco product. ...
tries to douse cigar smoking lounge
TACOMA, Wash. 7He's an outlaw who endangers the public health.
Or he's a lone voice defending the right of consenting adults to privately enjoy the occasional fine cigar.
Either way, he has been served.
The Tacoma Pierce County Health Department on Monday hand-delivered a notice to Paul Mackay, the owner of Tacoma's upscale El Gaucho, ordering that he no longer allow smoking in the VIP Lounge of his Pacific Avenue restaurant.
Mackay reopened the room in mid-February, after spending $15,000 on renovations. It had been built as a cigar lounge at an original cost of $100,000, and it closed in 2005 after a state law banned smoking in public places. A month ago, Mackay said he believed his VIP Lounge met all criteria in the law.
The health agency disagrees.
"We took a look at their facilities, and they're clearly in violation,"
said Joby Winans, the department's public information officer, on Tuesday.
Team Up to Create Smoke Free Campuses
( CENTRALIA ) Smoking is bad for you and everyone knows it. Now, officials from the local hospital plan to ban smoking outside Providence-Centralia facilities. Leaders are planning a tobacco-free campus beginning this summer. It means all smoking areas will be eliminated after August 2. The new outdoor smoking ban on hospital property also applies to Providence Saint Peter Hospital, the Providence Rochester clinic, and Capitol Medical Center. Hospital leaders say they want to promote healing and improve the working environment for patients, visitors and staff. ...
Whidbey parks district bans smoking
South Whidbey Parks & Recreation District commissioners voted 4-1 Wednesday to restrict smoking to posted areas of the park, including ballfields, the two playgrounds and the skate park.
The lone dissenter, Parks Commissioner Jim Porter, wanted to extend the smoking ban throughout the park, including parking lots and the extensive trail system.
Parks director Terri Arnold explained that the district wont be writing tickets or issuing citations, relying instead on peer pressure and gentle encouragement ...
parks chief relaxes smoking ban to a 25-foot rule
That regulation totally banning smoking in Seattle parks? Never mind about the "totally" part. Just smoke, chew or engage in "other tobacco use" 25 feet away from other park patrons, said Parks Superintendent Timothy Gallagher in a news release issued late Thursday afternoon. If that sounds like backtracking, it is. . . .
It seems public comments that railed against the new rule worked.
Gallagher wasn't available to personally make a statement on the matter on Thursday because on Monday he went skiing in Oregon, and he won't be back at work until next Monday, said Parks spokeswoman Dewey Potter.
Potter said she didn't know where in Oregon Gallagher was, but apparently
he learned the extent of the public reaction via an Internet or phone
bans tobacco in Seattle parks
Seattle Parks Superintendent Timothy Gallagher announced a ban on tobacco in Seattle parks Wednesday, overruling an advisory board that last week voted against it.
His ruling put an end to the public debate over whether people should be allowed to smoke and chew in Seattle's parks. In the end, Gallagher wrote in a memo, the ban was a health issue.
The ban aims to protect park users from secondhand smoke and cut down on litter caused by cigarette butts. It was also spurred by concerns that smokers set a poor example for children.
"The negative health effects of tobacco are well documented," Gallagher wrote. "As an agency that has a fundamental mission to support the health and well-being of Seattle residents, it is appropriate and beneficial to prohibit the use of tobacco products at parks and park facilities."
The ban takes effect April 1.
Gallagher's decision is within his authority as parks superintendent, but the Seattle City Council could pass an ordinance to overrule it. ...
to consider ban on smoking, spitting in Seattle parks
No spitting. No smoking. No sex.
The list of rules in Seattle parks may be about to grow.
A proposed ban on spitting in parks -- one of 13 behaviors Seattle Parks and Recreation wants to regulate, including a ban on smoking on its grounds -- already is generating heated public comment.
The proposal was presented Thursday night to the park commissioners.
But it's the spitting and smoking bans that have drawn the comments.
But someone else wrote, "... there are no studies linking exposure to secondhand smoke outdoors to any health risks. ...
Comprehensive Health Education Foundation has received a grant from
the Washington State Department of Health for creation of the Washington
Public Housing Tobacco Prevention Network
officials look to extend smoking ban around county buildings
Smoking is already banned inside county buildings by a state law that also prohibits smoking within 25 feet of entrances or windows. The new ban, which still must be formally approved by county commissioners in January, would mean smoking is now off-limits anywhere on the health department property.
Health officials said it's the right thing to do given their mandate to improve the county's overall health. ...
state says 'really, no smoking!'
The Washington State Department of Health is taking one of the toughest stands possible against smoking at its four-building Tumwater campus: Absolutely no tobacco products are allowed after May 2010.
Its the first tobacco-free-campus rule by a large Washington
state agency, health department officials said, adding that the new
rule will apply to everyone at all facilities, including parking areas
and all vehicles. There will be no designated smoking areas. ...
bans smoking in Tacoma's public parks
Come next month, smokers beware: If you light up in a public park in Tacoma, youll be breaking the law.
By a 6-3 vote, the Tacoma City Council approved late Tuesday an ordinance that makes smoking in any public park in the city illegal.
To me, this is like the noise ordinance, said Councilman Jake Fey, who supported the measure. There needs to be a balance. ...
smoke, no fire at meeting
Less than a handful of interested residents came to Walla Walla City Council chambers to discuss smoking in and around play areas in city parks.
Three members of the Parks, Recreation and Urban Forestry volunteer advisory board showed up, meaning no quorum for the nine-member board.
And no decision.
This was the second opportunity people had to offer input on the subject at a public meeting. As well, the city has received e-mails and phone calls about the matter. The Walla Walla County Public Health Department has asked the board to consider the proposal and make a decision whether or not to bring it to City Council for a vote. ...
Smoking ban clearly was the right move
Four years ago, a lopsided majority of Washington voters approved a
ban on smoking in public places. While citizens may have the right to
smoke, voters felt that right should not extend to subjecting others
to their secondhand smoke. . . .
We're not convinced easing the smoking ban would help. To the contrary, there's evidence that it might hurt business. The Washington Department of Revenue reported last year that tax data showed that the food and beverage industry's earnings rose by 20 percent from 2006 to 2007.
In any event, the health benefits from this ban would seem to far outweigh concerns raised by its opponents. Indeed, according to a new report by the Washington, D.C.-based Institute of Medicine, those benefits are greater than voters in this state knew in 2005. . . .
A University of California , San Francisco study concluded that exposure
to secondhand smoke is about 80 percent as harmful as being a smoker.
ban in city park playgrounds to be discussed
WALLA WALLA People will have an opportunity to see what the smoke signals say at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Council chambers at City Hall, 15 N. Third Ave.
The Walla Walla Parks, Recreation and Urban Forestry advisory board has scheduled the meeting to gather public input on a proposal to ban smoking within 25 feet of childrens playgrounds in city parks.
Tobacco prevention coordinator Katie Redar of the Walla Walla County Public Health Department has been working on the idea since last spring when she collected almost 400 cigarette butts from the wood chips at Pioneer Parks playground area.
Comments on the proposal and thoughts about banning smoking within 25 feet of sports fields and possibly banning smoking in all parts of city parks are sought. ...
considers ban on smoking in parks
Lighting up could soon land you a fine in Tacoma. The city council wants to ban smoking at city parks.
Councilmember Connie Ladenburg supports the ban and hopes it will keep
parks family friendly. "Hopefully we'll be setting a standard for
people in order to provide a more healthy environment for families and
blasted over anti-smoking program cuts
YAKIMA, Wash. -- A leading researcher of secondhand smoke sharply criticized the governor and the Legislature on Wednesday for cutting tobacco-control programs nearly in half, saying the cost to the health-care system will quickly overcome any short-term savings.
"Gov. Gregoire is no longer the anti-tobacco governor," Stanton
Glantz, professor of
"The fact that she let the program be gutted means she's just riding on the old coattails." ...
may ban smoking in parks
TACOMA, Wash. -- The Tacoma City Council takes up a proposal Oct. 13 to ban smoking in public parks.
The ban is recommended by the council's public safety committee. Violators would get a $25 ticket.
Supporters of the idea like protecting children from second hand smoke. But some smokers in Wright Park told The News Tribune a ban would be impossible to enforce and that smokers are entitled to use public parks. ...
park ban burns some
Board was right to rescind smoking ban
The Spokane Park Board has reversed its springtime decision to phase in an outright ban on smoking in parks. The practical effect of this unanimous vote is negligible. There was no great effort to enforce it, anyway. The police and parks staff both stretched thin have better things to do.
In hitting the reset button, the board has returned to the old regulations.
Parks will have designated Tobacco Free Zones in and around areas where
children congregate, with signage and peer pressure as the enforcement
mechanisms. Enforcement by peers might be more apt to happen now that
it is clear that public authorities wont be showing up. ...
tables smoking ban until November
WENATCHEE City residents who'd like to see more restrictions on smoking in city parks will have to wait a little longer to get their wish.
The City Council Thursday tabled until Nov. 12 a citizen proposal to expand a ban on tobacco use beyond the picnic shelters and public restrooms already covered by state law.
The latest proposal drafted by a citizens group that helps set rules for city parks would ban tobacco use on city property. ...
West extends smoking ban in public places
If you plan to light up a smoke within 25 metres of a playground structure or sports field in Quinte West, forget it.
City council has approved a bylaw that extends a city-wide smoking ban in public places.
But the anti-smoking legislation didn't get unanimous support. ...
may want to ban smoking in city parks
The enemy is apparently smoking a cigarette, riding a bike without a helmet and holding a plastic grocery bag. All in a city park.
Seattle City Councilman Tom Rasmussen may try to ban the first. He
is considering a proposal to ban smoking in city parks. ...
Focus park smoking ban on play areas
Want to give smokers a new incentive to quit? Tell them they cant light up in a Tacoma park.
Want to prevent children from getting addicted? Make sure a trip to the neighborhood sprayground doesnt include the sight of someone taking a drag.
Want parks to look nicer? Stop cigarette butts before they start.
The city should consider what Portland has done. That city bans smoking within 25 feet of play areas the same perimeter Washington law sets for the entrances to public buildings.
The City Council could also outlaw smoking in pocket parks where escaping
secondhand smoke would be nearly impossible. But it should stop short
of an all-but-unenforceable all-out ban. ...
questions park smoking ban
A proposal to ban smoking in parks continues to move forward, with Tacoma City Council members requesting modifications to an ordinance being crafted.
Matt Peelen from the City Managers Office delivered an update to the Public Safety, Human Services and Education Committee on June 25.
Gig Harbor and Puyallup have banned smoking in parks. Wenatchee is considering one. Public health and fire safety are the primary reasons such bans are enacted, Peelen said.
Some cities include golf courses under smoking bans, others do not. Peelen said the council would need to decide upon this, as well as whether to include parking lots at parks and sidewalks along their perimeter.
The fine in Puyallup is $1,000, although no one has been issued a citation in that city yet. In Gig Harbor it is $100. Lake Stevens has a $124 fine for a first offense, $248 for the second. ...
City Council weighs pros and cons of smoking ban in parks
The City of Tacoma inched closer Thursday to banning smoking in public parks.
Staff asked a City Council subcommittee to clarify some policy directives before drafting an ordinance. No decision was reached and the four-member committee still needs to hammer out how to define a park for the purposes of a ban, whether there should be an additional buffer zone and what the penalty for a violation should be.
Councilman Mike Lonergan was the lone voice of dissent on the Public
Safety, Human Services and Education Committee. He noted that an unscientific
poll on the News Tribunes Web site showed residents were against
the idea 2-to-1....
COUNTY FOLLOWING NATIONAL TREND: MOVING TOWARD SMOKE FREE ...
A national trend has emerged at some apartment complexes in Mason County: smoke free housing. To address complaints by residents, several apartment owners have adopted smoke free policies, such as prohibiting smoking in all units and within 25 feet of buildings. Officials with Mason County Public Health applaud this effort as a positive step to protection people from secondhand smoke while also making a wise business decision. A news release from the Health Department says that going smoke free reduces fire risk, eliminates turnover costs associated with smoke damage, and protects the resale value of a property. Studies have also demonstrated the substantial market demand for smoke free properties. In a 2005 State Department of Health survey, about 85% of Washington residents prefer smoke free housing and more than half of those who smoke also indicated they prefer smoke free housing. Mason County Public Health has compiled a list of smoke free housing. That list is posted online at:
smoking, no penalty
will revote on smoking ban
It might change its mind next Thursday after a public hearing. But
dont count on it. ...
considers ban on smoking in city parks
Now smokers may have to cross off Spokane City parks from their list.
"You're taking a section of the population and saying you can't use the park," said Ron Brown.
ban in rental housing examined
Jacqueline Strong Moss from the city's Human Rights and Human Services Department mentioned the statewide smoking ban in public places such as taverns, restaurants and bowling alleys. That does not apply to rental housing, she noted.
However, some landlords are increasingly concerned about the costs of cleaning rental units after smokers move out. John Briehl, director of the department, said that as a result efforts to ban smoking in rental units are mostly market-driven. "There has been movement in the industry for smoke-free housing."
Smoking is banned in some public housing. Briehl gave one local example. Tacoma Housing Authority bans smoking in its E.B. Wilson Apartments, which are designated for elderly and disabled renters. Smoking was banned in all 77 units last year. Seattle Housing Authority has one smoke-free complex.
delays decision on park smoking ban
The Spokane Park Board had been scheduled to consider the proposal Thursday, but the vote was delayed to consider changes to the plan.
There were just too many questions, said Spokane Park Director Barry Russell. It was not complete.
in parks may be banned
By this summer, the only smoke in parks in Tacoma might be coming from meat cooking on grills.
Metro Parks Commissioner Ryan Mello proposed a smoking ban during the Feb. 13 meeting of Joint Municipal Action Committee. It was a topic of discussion at a recent Metro Parks Commission retreat, he noted.
Second-hand smoke poses a significant toxic health risk to the citizens of Tacoma, Mello remarked.
If children in parks see adults around them smoking they will assume it is a socially acceptable habit, according to Mello. Banning smoking in parks will set the tone of what is acceptable in our community, he said.
Several years ago Washington voters approved an initiative that banned smoking in bars, restaurants, bowling alleys and similar establishments. County health departments are responsible for enforcing it. Mello does not expect a ban on smoking in parks to be dealt with by police. Police are not going to have the resources to respond to everyone smoking in a park, he remarked.
Captain Mark Langford of Tacoma Police Department (TPD) said the statewide indoor smoking ban has not diverted police from responding to more serious problems. We have not seen a big demand on our resources from it, he remarked. Langford said this proposed new ban on would give police officers a tool in that they could inform people they encounter smoking in a park of the law and they would have the legal authority to request they extinguish their cigarette. He said TPD is supportive of the proposed ordinance.s
considers new ban on smoking at transit centers
Intercity Transit is considering a ban on smoking at its outdoor transit centers in Lacey and Olympia.
Agency staff members said they've received numerous complaints from riders in recent years about secondhand smoke and will ask Intercity Transit's governing board about toughening the existing policy.
"We think it is a health concern and worthy of discussion," said Meg Kester, an agency spokeswoman, in an e-mail.
court: Smoking ban applies to private clubs
A new survey by the Washington State Department of Health shows the number of adult smokers in the state is continuing to drop. Since the department began its Tobacco Prevention and Control Program in 2000, adult smoking has gone from 22.4 percent to a new low of 17 percent. Washington continues to have the fifth lowest smoking rate in the nation.
The most recent numbers from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System survey show a decline from a 17.6 percent smoking rate in 2005 to 17 percent in 2006. Although a relatively small drop, the data confirm a continued trend of fewer people smoking in our state. The overall drop in smoking since 2000 translates to about 235,000 fewer smokers in the state, and $2.1 billion saved in future health care costs for Washington.
"It is clear that Washington is making strides in reducing smoking and I am pleased with the progress; yet we need to do more to help those who are having problems quitting for good," said Governor Chris Gregoire.
The latest research shows that people with low income (less than $25,000/year) and less education (high school diploma or less) smoke at higher rates than the general population and are less likely to quit successfully. Smoking among these groups has not dropped significantly in recent years.
DRINK SALES UP SINCE SMOKING BAN
A lot less gambling, and little more buying pub grub and beer.
the conclusion about what happened in bars, restaurants
Sales of food and
alcohol increased 3.6 percent in 2006,
"The numbers suggest that bars and taverns
may have lost some
year in nearly a decade for Washington restaurants
BREMERTON, Wash. -- Restaurants in Washington state have reported their best year in nearly a decade with a record number of customers in 2006, but it's no easier to succeed in the business, according to an industry group.
Faced with razor-thin profit margins and intense competition, more than half of all restaurants close or change hands in five years, said Anthony Anton, president of the Washington Restaurant Association in Olympia.
"You've got to love what you do to be in this business," Anton said during a meeting with local business leaders and restaurant owners last week.
While sales have increased by 20 percent since 1998, costs are up 40 percent, mostly because of increases in the state's inflation-indexed minimum wage - currently $7.93, highest in the nation - and in prices for produce.
While restaurants nationwide added an average of one employee between 1998 and 2006, the average for the 12,000 restaurants in Washington state was a one-worker reduction in staff.
Restaurateurs used to raise prices every four to five years but now must do so annually, Anton said.
year of taking cigarettes outside: Smoking ban not as bad as feared
ago today, a new law forced smokers outside and cleared the cloudy haze from bars
and restaurants across Washington.
So what happened?
Bars and restaurants posted higher sales of alcohol and food in the post-ban era, at least in the first half of 2006, according to data from the state Department of Revenue. Nontribal casinos and other businesses dependent on gambling money, however, took a sizeable hit.
clears in bars, eateries
Officials say compliance in Pierce County with a state smoking ban in bars and restaurants has been 'overwhelmingly positive.' Pierce County bars, restaurants and pool halls have largely kicked the smoking habit.
Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department inspectors have cited only seven businesses for violating Washington's smoking ban since it took effect Dec. 8, according to inspection documents provided to The News Tribune. About 1,500 restaurants, bars and taverns in the county are subject to the ban.
"Compliance has just been overwhelmingly positive," said Rick Porso, a senior public health manager at the department. "And considering the law hasn't been in place that long, it's pretty good."
Laws Benefit Washington Businesses