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Arlington to Mull Banning Smoking in Workplaces, Public Spaces

The news comes a month after the town voted to raise the cigarette-buying age to 21 over the next two years.

The Arlington Board of Health will consider Wednesday, June 19, banning smoking in all workplaces and public spaces in town.

Last month, the board passed new tobacco regulations that, among other steps, will raise the minimum age to buy cigarettes in town from 18 to 21 over the next two years.

On June 19, the board will discuss adopting “Regulations Prohibiting Smoking in Workplaces and Public Places” (attached). Public places include town-owned parks, playgrounds, athletic fields, beaches and swimming areas.

If the board passes the proposed regulations, anyone found in violation would receive a $100 fine for the first offense, a $200 fine for the second offense (within two years), and a $300 fine for every subsequent offense (within two years of the second offense).

The board’s meeting is at 5:30 p.m. in the first floor conference room of the Senior Center. The public is invited to attend the meeting and provide comments.

The three-member board consists of Michael Fitzpatrick, Dr. Marie Walsh Condon and Kenneth Kohlberg. The regulations do not need Town Meeting’s approval, as the town’s health regulations are separate from the town bylaws.

Do you support the proposed regulations? Let us know by posting a comment below.

More on Arlington Patch

Arlington Raising Cigarette Buying Age to 21

Mark Kaepplein June 12, 2013 at 06:07 PM
The arbitrary age limits applied to nicotine purchase above and beyond state law is age discrimination! By social opportunities for young adults, I was meaning single people. Arlington is geared towards adults raising kids, middle aged, and up adults. For teens and 20 somethings, not much opportunity for socializing, not even hanging out at Annie LaCourt's house anymore. Real, brick and mortar places can help displace smart phones and laptops substituting for social interaction. With high drinking age in the US and no shopping mall in Arlington, teens don't have places to meet like in Europe (ie bars, clubs, music festivals and venues). Just as tobacco sales keep convenience stores afloat, alcohol sales keep those places viable.
Crooked Townies Must Go June 12, 2013 at 07:04 PM
I want to ban those silly bike trailers . They are dangerous and should be used on public roadways
Mark Kaepplein June 12, 2013 at 07:24 PM
Diesel bus exhaust soot has decreased with the replacement of the MBTA bus fleet. It came at the cost of 20% less MPG, to roughly 4.75 mpg from 5.25, though with generally increased engine sizes too (to compensate for power loss?). I think the MBTA has also switched to low sulfur diesel fuel. CNG buses are far cleaner, but get half the mpg (due to gas having half the energy density of diesel fuel), may require refueling during a shift, require refitting fueling and maintenance facilities, and take longer to refuel. Then there is the problem of clearance - CNG buses need extra fuel tanks on the roof (due to low mpg), not allowing them to fit under some bridges.
Mark Kaepplein June 12, 2013 at 07:30 PM
Mass state law allows purchase of tobacco products by those 18 years old and over. Arlington restricts it to age 19, and eventually age 21. So, Arlington is discriminating against people under 21.
John June 12, 2013 at 10:58 PM
the bike trailers aren't dangerous, it the addle headed drivers like you that make thing dangerous.
Jean L. June 13, 2013 at 02:15 AM
They are dangerous...anyone with common sense would realize that. How anyone would drag a child/baby behind them in a contraption that sits not that far from the ground, and would be very difficult to see coming out of a side street, is incomprehensible to me. These children/babies are in danger of being run over. What if the "buggy", or whatever it is, hits a stone or some other object, and flips into the traffic? What happens if the driver of the bike loses control, and that can happen? In my whole life, I have never seen anything as dangerous, and downright neglectful, as those contraptions. Who in their right mind does not want to keep their eye on their child at all times when riding a bike on busy roads, and heavy traffic? I can only imagine what it must feel like going over bumps! If this town wants to ban things...this is most worthy and should be a top priority.
T June 13, 2013 at 01:20 PM
Taxes? Quit smoking and you will immediately cut your taxes. With the added benefit of lowering your chances of getting cancer, heart disease, having a stroke ,asthma and you won't look like a leather bag at 50. Nanny State - I work for a large private company which has had a no smoking policy in place for 10+ years on all properties, not just inside. The shrinking # of smokers have to walk off the property for a fix. My fathers firm instituted a no smoking policy for their offices back in the early 90s. Airlines started going no smoking in the late 80's. The town is playing catch up. Wing-nut "My rights" - Smoking is not a right. Its a deadly, disgusting choice and the days of sharing cancer with the world are long gone. @ Mark K - "Way too many old farts here who complain too much!" This has got to be the funniest thing I have read in a long time. Mark K. you are a true gem.
Joan McNulty June 13, 2013 at 03:14 PM
Hey- just wait till we all stop smoking and see what your taxes end up being. The taxes from my smoking fund a ton of programs all over the place.And by the way- I look just fine thank you- You're probably over weight yourself- maybe we should ban eating- it's far more of a health issue than smoking ever was-obesity has more related health issues and costs more money than smoking...Mind your own business and stop trying to save me. I don't want to be saved!!!
T June 13, 2013 at 04:10 PM
@J Mc - Sure, taxes pay for things, doesn't mean you get to blow cancer on me or anyone else. "Cigarette smoking costs the United States about $193 billion per year, including $96 billion in health care expenditures and $97 billion in lost productivity. In addition, secondhand smoke costs the U.S. more than $10 billion per year in health care expenditures, morbidity and mortality. The total economic costs associated with cigarette smoking (the combination of direct medical costs and lost productivity) are estimated at $10.47 per pack sold in the U.S." http://publichealthlawcenter.org/sites/default/files/resources/tclc-guide-state-taxation-cigs-2012.pdf The national retail avg. for a pack of cigarettes is approx. $6 bucks, but it cost over $10 to cover the health related issues? Sounds like we are all paying for your habit. "Mind my own business..." says the woman posting smokers rights rants on patch. Don't want others in your business? Keep it off-line. Save you? Not my gig. Go ahead and smoke your lungs cancerously black in the comfort and safety of your home, you will just have to come to terms with not being able to do it in public anymore. Obesity v. smoking? False comparison. You need to eat. You don't need to smoke. And I have yet to hear about anyone getting cancer from sitting next to an obese person.
Joan McNulty June 13, 2013 at 06:28 PM
Spin the facts as you like "T"I wonder what your dirty little secret is. And by the way- you're wrong- obesity costs more insurance dollars than smoking- do your research and know the facts. If you were close enough I'd put the butt out in your face.Maybe you should put your whole name on the thread....I bet you think only smokers get lung cancer huh? Why don't you answer why they sell cigs in stores if it's so costly?
Mark Kaepplein June 13, 2013 at 06:52 PM
Joan, Shhhh! Next the Arlington board of health will want to ban large sodas, trans-fats, and meals over 900 calories. All the pizza places might have to use non-dairy, tofu cheese-substitute on non-gluten dough. Smoking has already decreased so much (with little need for more discouragement) that doctors who previously dismissed all lung, throat, and mouth cancers as caused by smoking, have had to actually try to look more closely at them because so many non-smokers got them. Previously, they accused patients of lying about smoking or blamed them all on second hand smoke. The second hand smoke danger is thus, grossly exaggerated.
T June 13, 2013 at 07:53 PM
@J Mc - What facts am I "spinning"? The CDC? I do have a dirty little secret, but you will have to read to the end;) You say I am wrong? I can't be, considering I never said anything about the cost of obesity v smoking. You are changing the topic. Admittedly they are both health problems, but really shouldn't be compared. We need to eat. We don't need to smoke, at all, ever. No I don't think only smokers get lung cancer. They do get it at much higher rates than non-smokers. Family members of smokers also get lung cancer at higher rates. Bartenders and waitresses also got lung cancer at higher rates, pre-bans. http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=188250 . Complaints about spin should be sent to the Journal of Am. Med. Maybe you should quit, your health will improve. Why do they sell them? Going out on a limb, but I will go with money? "I'd put this butt out in your face..." Classy lady. Maybe you should quit, food tastes better. FYI - If you find yourself on the same side of an argument as Mark K., take a moment and reevaluate. I'm not saying he is wrong all the time, I'm just saying he is wrong a lot of the time. Think about it, what kind of person makes the jump from a anti-smoking ban to the socializing needs of teenagers and twenty somethings and then says "The second hand smoke danger is thus, grossly exaggerated"? Yikes! Secret - I started smoking @ 13 and quit 16 years ago. Give it a try, you might like smoke free living.
John June 13, 2013 at 09:48 PM
if they were dangerous, there would be evidence in the form of mountains of reports of injury or fatality. Why isn't there any?
Mark Kaepplein June 13, 2013 at 10:41 PM
I read the study abstract. Bartenders were in San Francisco. Smoking rates in gay bars were higher than regular bars. Average lung capacity increased 1.2% while 1 second exhale volume increased 4.2%. 76% had been smokers at one time, 45% smoked in the study. The study didn't seem to analyze the intensity of second hand smoke in workplaces at all. The ban on smoking at work didn't result in any subjects quitting. 64% of the study subjects opposed the workplace smoking ban. Of course, the study isn't any more relevant to banning 18 year olds from buying nicotine products than my pointing out how Arlington discriminates against young people and is generally unfriendly towards them.
T June 14, 2013 at 01:33 PM
"...Almost no one starts smoking after age 25. Nearly 9 out of 10 smokers started smoking by age 18, and 99% started by age 26. Progression from occasional to daily smoking almost always occurs by age 26." http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/reports/preventing-youth-tobacco-use/factsheet.html Considering the overall cost to everyone I think this is pretty relevant. "Arlington discriminates against young people" - another weird gem from Mark K.
Joan McNulty June 14, 2013 at 02:06 PM
Gee I guess my Mom shoulde have never survived till age 90 considering her Mom and Dad smoked heavily, then her husband and daughter her entire life. Just for the record she didn't die from any second habd smoke issues, and neither did my Dad. It's all propaganda if you ask me.Just ban everythingyou don't like or want. I'm with you Mark K.
Wind Dummy 25 June 14, 2013 at 02:37 PM
There's that worded "banned" again. Second hand smoke~ What forms of spent smoke is tolerable? Wood, Bus auto, natural gas oil, chemical, tobacco, etc... Please. Concerned about respiratory vulnerabilities, have your home checked for radon. Try banning this naturally formed exhaust. Or even better have the "tax it" partisans figure a way to tax it.
Mark Kaepplein June 14, 2013 at 05:46 PM
Then propose banning nicotine sales to anyone under 26, along with big sodas, trans fats, and high calorie meals! We need helmet bylaws, requiring them for bicyclists, skateboarders, rollerbladers of all ages! Anyone going swimming needs to wear a life jacket so they don't drown! How could the human race ever survived this long without government to protect us? <sarcasm>
T June 14, 2013 at 06:39 PM
Gee, its like this guy I heard about, he was thrown from his car when it crashed and survived. That's why I don't use seat-belts. Wing-nut logic is awesome.
csj565 June 14, 2013 at 10:12 PM
I feel that this ban has been proposed essentially due to the fact that cigarette smoke is not only a pollutant but one that people can actually SEE with a source they can actually hold accountable. I am a smoker yet I hate walking through plumes of smoke on the sidewalk so I try to limit areas in which I smoke so as not to subject others to my habit but at the same time, I am subjected to emission pollutants from countless sources, we all are. Smoking in public is 'in YOUR face' and as opposed to sources of fuel combustion (the major contributor to human caused air pollutant emissions) smoking in public is something that can be controlled. So if you are a consumer and you support the following type of arguments: "you don't have the right to poison other people in public" or "YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO DO HARM UNTO OTHERS" or my personal favorite, "your right to poison yourself ends where my lungs begin" you are a hypocrite. Every one of us contributes to emission pollutants (not to mention non-point source pollution) so good luck with your meaningless ban... and the next... and the next - since ban proposals seems to be your answer for everything. Maybe you should stop wasting YOUR energy pointing your finger at the lowly smokers and use it for something that might actually make a difference because you can bet your ass that unless a global solution is implemented, diseases due to air pollutants that contribute to the degradation of your health will continue to do just that.
KEN D... June 16, 2013 at 03:42 PM
I'm pretty sure the second hand smoke health issue statistics are based on enclosed spaces. If there are any studies that refer to second hand smoke in the open air of public spaces, I'd be curious to see some links so I can look at them.
Tim Cahill June 16, 2013 at 05:32 PM
I'm not a smoker but I think this is going way too far. Everyone here in favor of the ban seems to be working under the assumption that people can just keep it in doors. But many, many private landlords and apartment associations don't allow smoking in their units. So if people aren't allowed to satisfy their habit (a LEGAL habit at that!) in their own home, they have no choice but to go outside. Now we want to take that away from them? Effectively what is happening is that Arlington is trying to become a town of completely smoke-free residents. That's absurd and unrealistic. I've complained many times about the bizarre bans this town wants to implement or has already implemented (no bike-riding to school, the overnight parking ban, the ban about keeping your porch lights on after 11pm, and so on). This is just another example of the town's movement to a condo association-type of totalitarianism that is very unbecoming and a major turnoff to potential future home-buyers in the town.
T June 17, 2013 at 03:18 PM
Tim C - If you could please provide links to the Arlington biking and lighting bans. Not familiar with either one. I remember the ES Principals advising against young kids riding bikes, but not a town ban. "many private landlords and apartment associations don't allow smoking in their units. So if people aren't allowed to satisfy their habit (a LEGAL habit at that!) in their own home...." Where does it say home OWNERS cant smoke in their own homes? If you are a smoker and rent a place where the OWNER has a no smoking policy, that is on you. Same with a condo or other association. Find another place or quit. Sounds like the overnight parking ban argument. The ban is "unfair", mainly with people who rent or bought a home with less parking spaces then cars they own. That's not the town moving towards totalitarianism, that's bad math. Those in favor of changing the parking ban put forth pretty persuasive arguments for changes based on parking and I am pretty sure some changes will be made. Still waiting for the pro-smoking argument based on smoking.
Joan McNulty June 17, 2013 at 04:01 PM
Hey- How about smoking is LEGAL! And by the way eating to obesity isn't eating to survive- it's a problem. Show me the facts about second hand smoke outside- then we'll talk...
T June 17, 2013 at 04:40 PM
Just because something is legal doesn't mean you get to do it wherever you want. I can't drink a beer walking or driving home from the liquor store where I legally purchased it. Make the anti-smoking ban case beyond the simple "its legal" or some tea-bagish "totalitarianism" rant. Better yet, buck the majority of town ranters, stop posting into the cloud, pun intended, and contact your TMMs, the BoS or banish the thought, go to a meeting and publicly stand up for your "rights" as a smoker.
Joan McNulty June 18, 2013 at 01:58 PM
Been there- done that.Anything else you want to make me do? I bet your the type who preaches tolerance unless it's something YOU don't like...
Mark Kaepplein June 18, 2013 at 10:48 PM
So, anybody going to the public hearing tomorrow night at 5:30PM at the senior Center? That can't possibly be an inconvenient time for anybody, can it?
Joan McNulty June 19, 2013 at 02:57 PM
It's what they do in this town- put these meeting at a time hardly anyone who works for a living can attend- except the lunatic fringe - and get it passed. What else is new?
T June 19, 2013 at 04:33 PM
And so the excuses begin, its all the town's fault, poor, poor wing-nuts, the town didn't check with me before scheduling the meeting. I didn't get an invite delivered on a silver platter. Before the two of you post this nonsense did you ever think to check out who the Board Members are? The Chair is a dentist with his own practice, what some would refer to as a "small business owner". The other members are a Dr, and a lawyer. I don't know what classifies in the wing-nut mind as someone who "works for a living", but I will give them the benefit of the doubt and say they probably put in a good days work. And yes Joan, "they" do what some people do in this town; volunteer time and effort for the good of the town. Something that apparently most townie wing-nuts can't be bothered with as it would cut into their internet ranting time.
Joan McNulty June 20, 2013 at 05:57 PM
Only Doctors,Lawyers and the like have the luxury of most likely being owners...and can leave work when they want. The rest of us work regular jobs with a boss dictating our day. Some of us even work more than one job so we can afford to stay in this town with it's high property taxes paying for stupid things like multi million dollar dog walking parks...Maybe if this town learned how to budget correctly like most of the rest of us have to do they wouldn't have to keep overiding 21/2..I'd love to volunteer T but I'm too busy working to survive.

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