On Wellness in WV

Reactions to Smoking Ban Study

My recent story Study says smoking bans beneficial to state received some feedback. Some positive, some not so positive. Basically, a recent study said that indoor smoking bans have been good for West Virginia businesses, despite them being hotly contested at first.

Here’s some emails I received:

Linda Bricker, VA: I AM SOOOOOO ALLERGIC TO CIGARETTE SMOKE. When I go to other states it shocks me to go into a smoking restaurant.  My hair dresser and her clan smoke in a back room and in alley and the place smells bad to me.  I am grateful for smoking laws and the fact that the smoking bullys haven’t gotten any of them changed back despite the whining about “no one will come in and drink, gamble eat” etc.  PS I am nurse for VA and so many of our vets were given cigarettes while in service they are all dying now.”

Sarah Blyler, Fayetteville, WV: With regard to the following article:  Study says smoking bans beneficial to state Monday, 12 August 2013. I searched and found only 2 pieces of potential “news” in this sentimental and opinionated rehash. One:  “West Virginia counties with indoor smoking bans showed a 1 percent increase in restaurant employment as compared to those counties where smoking was allowed. The remaining eight states saw no significant association between smoke-free laws and employment or sales in restaurants and bars.”  Seriously, right now?…you wrote an article based on this?…Do you understand the term, “statistically insignificant”? Two:  “…smoking causes some $2.4 billion in total economic loss in West Virginia annually.”  Again, this may well be another re-hash, but it is completely unsubstantiated within the context of this article.   What about all of the bar/restaurants that closed in WV as a result of same smoke-free laws? This article’s only possible purpose would have to be a fluffy confirmation that infringing on smokers’ rights is somehow justified.  Since we are so very limited in the ‘news’ available in the valley, please at least have the decency to minimally appear to imagine that there are actually two sides to the issue. “

Christina Mickey, WV (Smoke Free Initiative of WV): Thanks for reporting on the latest study on economic impact of smoke free laws in WV.   Kanawha Charleston was in the for front in 2007 when it amended it’s regulation to expand protection to most workplaces and joined many other capitol cities across the nation going smoke free. Before 2007, WV had many smaller rural counties already laying a strong foundation for other counties to expand protection. Today, 24 WV counties eliminate smoking in all workplaces and public places, with 14 of those counties boosting some of the highest protection level in the nation from secondhand exposure in workplace and public place.  Let me know if you ever need any information or questions about smoke free laws in WV and the nation.”

Let me know your thoughts.

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