Florida Votes to Reduce Second Hand Smoke
(CNSNews.com) - Voters in Florida voters overwhelmingly approved a state constitutional amendment to prohibit tobacco smoking in restaurants and other enclosed indoor workplaces.
The amendment was approved by 70 percent of Floridians. It made it to the statewide ballot because of petition drives by the Florida chapters of the American Cancer Society, the American Lung Association and the American Heart Association.
Smoking in restaurants, except for outdoor seating areas, and enclosed workplaces, including employee break rooms would be prohibited under the amendment. The exceptions would be stand-alone bars and retail tobacco shops and designated smoking guest rooms at public lodging establishments.
Private residences are exempted from the ban except when they are used for commercial child care, adult care or health care.
John Kirkwood, president and CEO of the American Lung Association said the amendment was needed in order to protect workers and others from secondhand smoke.
"No one should be forced to breathe secondhand smoke in order to hold a job. Secondhand smoke has been classified as a class A carcinogen. Simply put, it's deadly," said Kirkwood in a statement.
But not all Floridians agreed. Bart Hofford, vice president of the Key West Restaurant and Bar Association and a restaurant owner told Florida Keysnews.com, "We already control smoking in our restaurant. What we don't like is having the state government tell us how to run our business."
The Florida Hotel and Motel Association, the state's lodging association, was against the amendment saying it would be detrimental to business.