What a difference 10 years makes. On March 24, 2005, amidst City Council’s debate over an ordinance to prohibit smoking in the workplace, The Post and Courier published an editorial with the headline: “Smoking ban not needed.”
Ten years later on Feb. 16, the editors, after pointing out the abundant evidence that laws regulating smoking in workplaces have been successful in improving public health, concludes: Nonsmokers “can breathe a little more easily when reasonable restrictions are imposed.”
I applaud the editorial board for recognizing that Charleston City Council was right when it enacted a smoking ordinance in 2007, despite opposition from the newspaper and Charleston’s hospitality industry.
I applaud former Councilmember Duke Hagerty, M.D., for proposing the ordinance in 1999 and former councilmember Henry Fishburne for joining with me to push for its passage.
Finally, I commend Mayor Joe Riley and other members of council, who voted in favor of improving public health.