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I am writing in response to Friday's Juneau Chamber of Commerce panel discussion regarding an initiative to strengthen Juneau's clean indoor air ordinance. I support this initiative because the current ordinance with its numerous exemptions fails to protect the citizens of Juneau from the harmful effects of indoor second-hand cigarette smoke.
Our society has consistently held that the activities of individuals and businesses deemed harmful to others must be regulated or otherwise curtailed. Exempting cigarette smoke in some Juneau businesses from this long-established norm should not be allowed.
Some bar owners at the chamber meeting suggested customers and workers could choose to patronized and/or work in smoke-free businesses. While this may or may not be true, it has nothing to do with the issue of regulating indoor cigarette smoke. Smoking indoors is harmful to everyone in the room and should not be allowed in any public place or workplace - period.