Roswell (NM) Goes Smokefree
After three hours of public comments, the Roswell (NM) City Council voted unanimously in favor of smokefree workplace legislation, including smokefree restaurants and bars. The ordinance also applies to lodges, fraternal organizations and country clubs.
After the ordinance was passed, Mayor Bill Owen remarked how seriously the councilors took this ordinance.
"They have all struggled with this, they all have had all of the arguments that have been presented here tonight," Owen said. "I, like most of the other councilors, know personally businesses and restaurant owners that are affected by this and I have no doubt that statistic will show that long-term, it will not affect those businesses in a negative fashion. In fact, it will probably have a positive effect on those businesses in the long term."
"Smokefree workplace legislation is a matter of respect and dignity for workers," said Joe Cherner, founder of BREATHE-- Bar and Restaurant Employees Advocating Together for a Healthy Environment. "No one should have to breathe something that causes cancer to hold a job."
The ordinance will go into effect Aug. 1, once the city is able to get no-smoking signs for businesses in Roswell to post in their windows. The New Mexico Department of Health is providing the signs free of charge.