A welcome step

Letter to the editor

Posted: Monday, September 22, 2003

This weekend, delegates from Juneau's sister city of Whitehorse will visit our capital city. While here, they plan to visit the new ice arena, the new high school and many other wonderful amenities we have to share.

Should you see any of the representatives ofWhitehorse, be sure and thank them forvoting to go completely smoke-free and improving the health of their residents and visitors alike. In early August, the Whitehorse Yukon Territory City Council voted unanimously to eliminate smoking in all public places. First, their ordinance requires that all public places with minors to be smoke-free by Jan. 1, 2005. The following year, the ordinance requires that all public places, including bars, to be smoke-free.

Whitehorse joins many Canadian cities, American cities and states, and many Alaskan communities who are providing workers with a safe, smoke-free environment. Breathing in second-hand smoke can cause serious health problems, including heart attacks and lung cancer. For every eight smokers who die from cigarette smoking, they take one nonsmoker with them.

Juneau has a Clean Indoor Air ordinance, but it does not cover all employees or all children and members of the public. While having some protection is a step in the right direction, our sister cityhas taken steps to protect all workers and all children. Again, we applaud their actions and wish them a warm welcome to Juneau. Enjoy your visit to our (almost) smoke-free city!

Cindy Spanyers

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