ACS, Coalition Renew Call for Smoking Ordinance

Efforts to get a smoking ordinance passed in Meridian are being renewed with the coming of a new administration. For at least the last four years, the American Cancer Society and a local coalition have been working together to try to get an ordinance passed in Meridian.

One such measure was vetoed several years ago by Mayor John Robert Smith. Coalition member, Jeanette Gossett, says this time the city is ready.

"I think so. The people that we've talked to in the past, it's been positive," Gossett said.

Although she never smoked, Gossett is a lung cancer survivor who says she developed it as a result of second-hand smoke.

So far, at least thirty communities in Mississippi have passed smoking ordinances of some sort. On average, American Cancer Society officials say it has taken about one year to get ordinances passed in those areas.

"The readiness of your people determines the length of your campaign," said Lillie Willis of the American Cancer Society. "For the city of Hattiesburg, we worked for 5 years."

Members of the coalition say this time they want Meridian officials not only to consider the concerns of people who live right in the city but those who live outside it as well.

"I think they ought to listen to them because part of our tax base comes from the money people spend in Meridian," said Gossett.

"Lung cancer affects everybody, whether you are a smoker or not a smoker," said Willis. "And therefore, any laws that we support, we try to encourage getting the strongest possible laws to provide protection, ideally protection for all."

With newly elected city officials set to be sworn in next week, smoking ordinance supporters say they are waiting right now for all officials to get settled into office. But they hope to at least have an ordinance on the table for consideration within the next year.

Should the city of Meridian ban smoking in all restaurants?


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  • by Dee Location: Meridian on Jun 26, 2009 at 08:52 AM
    My father smoked in the house, and in the car with me when I was a child. He died of heart disease in his 60s. I have severe allergies, asthma, and chronic bronchitis. I cannot enter some of the restaurants in town because you have to walk through the smoking area to get to the non-smoking area. Just a little exposure to tobacco smoke leads to an asthma attack. Please consider the ban on smoking in restaurants. Lung cancer is not the only serious problem caused by passive smoke.
  • by harley Ryder Location: tenn on Jun 26, 2009 at 04:29 AM
    Although she never smoked, Gossett is a lung cancer survivor who says she developed it as a result of second-hand smoke. THIS IS A LIE,INVENTED BY SMOKE FREE TO INDUCE PEOPLE INTO FEAR.....HERES THE FACTS. FOX NEWS ARTICLE March 8, 1998 Passive smoking doesn't cause cancer - official By Victoria Macdonald, Health Correspondent THE world's leading health organization has withheld from publication a study which shows that not only might there be no link between passive smoking and lung cancer but that it could even have a protective effect. The astounding results are set to throw wide open the debate on passive smoking health risks. The World Health Organization, which commissioned the 12-centre, seven-country European study has failed to make the findings public, and has instead produced only a summary of the results in an internal report. Despite repeated approaches, nobody at the WHO headquarters in Geneva would comment on the findings last week. At its International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon , France , which coordinated the study, a spokesman would say only that the full report had been submitted to a science journal and no publication date had been set. The findings are certain to be an embarrassment to the WHO, which has spent years and vast sums on anti-smoking and anti-tobacco campaigns. The study is one of the largest ever to look at the link between passive smoking - or environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) - and lung cancer, and had been eagerly awaited by medical experts and campaigning groups. Yet the scientists have found that there was no statistical evidence that passive smoking caused lung cancer. The research compared 650 lung cancer patients with 1,542 healthy people. It looked at people who were married to smokers, worked with smokers, both worked and were married to smokers, and those who grew up with smokers.
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