The danger from second-hand smoke is real, and several groups are pushing legislation to ban smoking in all public places in Mississippi.
We support the legislation, not only because we support a healthier lifestyle, but also because second-hand smoke is such a health problem for employees of establishments that permit smoking.
This week Union County residents had a chance to learn more about the issue at a lunch at the Magnolia Civic Center put on by Smokefree Air Mississippi, a program led by the state Department of Health.
Smokefree Air Mississippi is a statewide initiative established last year to improve the health of Mississippians by educating them about the dangers of smoking and advocating a smoke-fee environment in public places.
It’s part of a partnership with the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association, the American Heart Association and the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi.
In addition to the community meetings, the group is conducting an advertising campaign to get citizens to lobby their legislators to support the proposal.
We encourage you to call our representatives to voice your support. Rep. Margaret Ellis Rogers can be reached at 662-534-8886 and Sen. Nickey Browning of Pontotoc is at 662-489-5979.
Most restaurants already ban smoking. Much of the opposition to the proposal comes from the casino industry that claims it will lose revenue if smoking is not permitted. We say health is more important than casino revenue.
We hope you agree.