Boston Mayor Proposes Smoking Ban
BOSTON â€“â€“ Smoking at the toxins in second-hand smoke, Mayor Thomas Menino said.
"It's a question of fairness," Menino told reporters. "The long-term health of the worker far outweighs any fleeting enjoyment smoking can give.
"You want to smoke? Go outside," he said.
Menino's request mirrors a law in California and pending legislation in New York City. Boston already requires restaurants to partition any smoking area or place it at least 6 feet from eating areas. The new regulations would effectively ban smoking everywhere in Boston but the outdoors and private homes or hotel rooms.
The Boston Public Health Commission has authority to pass health regulations, so a smoking ban doesn't need City Council approval, though public hearings will be held.
It's unknown how many workplaces still allow smoking in Boston and would be affected, said John Auerbach, the commission's executive director.
About 500 communities nationwide have total or partial public smoking bans, according to the Washington D.C.-based Action on Smoking and Health.
Anne Everly, a 34-year-old smoker, said there won't be any public places left where smokers can have a cigarette indoors, an important consideration during New England winters. She said smoking shouldn't be banned in bars.
"It seems like a reasonable enough compromise," she said.