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I am a Tobacco Prevention Health Educator in an Eastern county that is known for growing tobacco. I would like to take a few moments to respond to your previous post. It is great that you make a conscious effort to withdraw yourself from areas where people are smoking and that will benefit you to a certain degree. But I am sure that you do eat out or are on occasion in a location where being around courteous or uncourteous smokers can not be avoided. So, I would like to say that while no one you know may blow smoke in your face, you are still being exposed to secondhand smoke. And there is no ventilation system or non smoking section in any restaurant that will filter that smoke. Therefor, a smoking or non-smoking section does not matter. In the latest Surgeon General's report he makes reference and shows support of that claim. For every eight smokers that die from a tobacco related illness, one nonsmoker exposed to secondhand smoke will die. As for the government making the controversial decision for the county/state to go smoke free, as you and I both know, they have all the right in the world to do that. Because, after all they run the government. And while we may not with all of their decisions. That fact can not be avoided. Seeing as our state is in a surplus amount of debt regarding healthcare - they would be taking a step in the right direction to pass this bill.Lost productivity and healthcare cost related to smokers range anywhere from $1.92 billion to $2.82 billion. We as a state can not keep affording to watch these prices increase, because in the end, it only effects the tax payer just like you and me.

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