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By Ali from RYfZJ2Re on 12/20/2015 10:55:17 PM
I agree completely with Mike's ayanlsis. I currently live in GA and strongly supported the bill originally introduced by Sen. Don Thomas and passed overwhealmingly by the GA Senate the last two years. The bill that has emerged and which is awaiting action by the Governor may be a step in the right direction but it is a very tiny step forward indeed. As Mike has pointed out there are so many loop holes in the present bill that I think implemention will be a nightmare and restaurant owners -- probably with the help from our friends in the industry --will find many creative ways to get around having to go completely smoke-free. Essentially the bill that emerged is one of those "we need to protect our children" at any cost type actions that ends up having very little if any positive effect. While protecting kids is certainly a laudable goal, this legislation, in my opinion, will do little in that regard as most any parent in GA who wants to protect their kids from SHS already go to restaurants that are either smoke-free or provide so called smoke-free seating. Its the worker in GA that needs protecting, especially food service workers.Ironically, the % of the GA workforce reporting a smoke-free workplace was slightly above the national average in the early 90's but today GA workers are lagging more and more behind not only the nation but surrounding states. Last November we submitted a paper to the journal of the GA medical association in which we analyzed 10 year policy trends in the state and (as of last week the paper is still being "considered") the data strongly suggests that the percentage of workers with a smoke-free place of employment declined slightly the last few years -- one of only a handfull of states which such a trend was evident. Even NC is now ahead of GA in this important area of occupational health. I think in the end the Governor is going to veto this bill -- not because he thinks its a bad bill but because he thinks restaurant owners and patrons rights may be in jeopardy. Thus, he believes people have the right to intentionally expose others to a known health risk; and the public health be damned. Don ShoplandRinggold, GA