Keep workplace smoke-free

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The Family Y of Greater Augusta has been an Augusta institution for more than 150 years. As one of our community’s largest nonprofit human services agencies, our unwavering commitment has always been to make Augusta healthier in spirit, mind and body. With a constituency of 50,000 members and another 30,000 program participants, we provide programs and services that address the needs of individuals and families regardless of age, race, religion or their ability to pay. Those who are part of our YMCA family come from all walks of life and truly reflect the diversity of the community we serve.

One of our primary focuses at the Family Y is to promote healthy living within our community. As a member of the BreathEasy Augusta coalition, we believe there are no safe levels of smoking or second-hand smoke. To eliminate the adverse health impact of secondhand smoke on the public, it is imperative to prohibit smoking in workplaces and spaces open to the public. We are not advocating a ban on smoking – it is simply asking smokers to step outside to smoke while protecting the rights of workers and patrons to breathe clean air.

While all our campuses are smoke-free, we daily witness the impact of smoking on those who come to the Y seeking rehabilitation and relief from smoking-related illnesses. Many of our members have “kicked the habit,” but are recovering from heart and lung diseases or cancer and wish they had never started smoking at all. While we don’t want to see anyone develop the smoking habit, we strongly believe that a nonsmoker has the right not to be exposed to the health-threatening effects of secondhand smoke.

We want to work together to ensure a healthy environment for all Augustans. Creating smoke-free workplaces for all workers is a positive step toward creating a healthier community for us all.

Danny McConnell

Augusta

(The writer is president and CEO of the Family Y of Greater Augusta.)

Comments (9) Add comment
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bubbasauce
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bubbasauce 10/10/13 - 03:19 am
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Where have you been the last

Where have you been the last ten years Danny? You cannot fire up anywhere anymore.

Dixieman
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Dixieman 10/10/13 - 06:21 am
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Butt out, Family Y

If I want to run a business and let everyone smoke inside, no one has to enter it. It's their choice. And it's my choice and our freedom! Hands off, Family Y.

deestafford
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deestafford 10/10/13 - 09:17 am
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I agree with Dixieman

If a business pays its taxes, all its overhead, and the owner risks everything he has to make that business go, he should have the say-so of whether or not he wants smoking in his business.

We have the right to being left alone and that right is being violated by every level of government. Our grandparents would be aghast if they came back and saw how many shackles have been placed on us by the government...in many cases they were velvet shackles placed there by our own ignorance, stupidity, and apathy.

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 10/10/13 - 10:26 am
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Well, at least when poor, unfortunates who work in smoke-filled work places get sick, they can thankfully turn to Obamacare!!

Darby
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Darby 10/10/13 - 11:55 am
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"Well, at least when poor, unfortunates who work

in smoke-filled work places get sick, they can thankfully turn to Obamacare!!"

.
And then grow older, sicker and die waiting for bureaucrats to move other people's money around fast enough, through government filters to try and help them.

Meanwhile losing two-thirds of the money inside the system.

t3bledsoe
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t3bledsoe 10/10/13 - 12:31 pm
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Darby

The action, what little there is, is on the other LTE. Come on over there.

Darby
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Darby 10/10/13 - 12:35 pm
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Maybe later, bledsoe

Gotta go get lunch or the old ball and chain will kill me.

Sweet son
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Sweet son 10/10/13 - 01:59 pm
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t3bledsoe must be getting a kickback from Obama.

He has taken this issue as his own and we are tired of hearing about it in the comment sections of articles.

t3, don't bother to respond because I'm not looking back.

Bodhisattva
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Bodhisattva 10/11/13 - 07:55 am
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" it is imperative to
Unpublished

" it is imperative to prohibit smoking in workplaces and spaces open to the public. We are not advocating a ban on smoking – it is simply asking smokers to step outside to smoke" Spaces open to the public? Isn't outside open to the public? Why do so many of these bans ban smokeless tobacco and e-cigarettes? Neither spread any second hand smoke to those around them. Is a bar going to be allowed to have an outside area with tables for smokers to be served or will non smokers insist on sitting in the smoking area and demand that smokers stop? How far "outside" will smokers have to go? 50ft? 100ft? 200ft? Back to their own house? Just a few questions that no one on the BreathEasy side ever seems to chime in to answer. Is that because you're slowly working your way to a complete ban on public smoking? Could be.

dichotomy
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dichotomy 10/11/13 - 10:14 am
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There are NO poor

There are NO poor unfortunates being forced to work in a smoking environment. They ALL choose to work in the bars (which is about the only business that you can still light up). The answer is to give business owners the CHOICE and the patrons and workers can DECIDE whether to stay or go.

And EVERYONE who still believes in FREEDOM of choice and keeping government out of personal decisions should possibly re-evaluate their support of organizations which seem to be sticking their nose into other people's business. Apparently the Family Y has become a proponent for big, intrusive, totalitarian government.

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