Rockville, Maryland – A resolution to adopt a proposed Montgomery County, Maryland Board of Health smoking ban regulation will be the subject of a public hearing May 5 by the Health and Human Services Committee of the County Council . The International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers Association has branded the proposed regulation as ‘ridiculous, unnecessary and overreaching.’
The proposed regulation would prohibit smoking in certain common areas of multiple-family residential dwellings. A common area is defined as ‘any indoor area of a multiple-family residential dwelling which is accessible to the occupants of more than one dwelling, including a hall, lobby, or laundry room.’ The regulation would also prohibit smoking within 25 feet of a playground area near such multiple-family dwellings.
“Legislated smoking bans are an affront to freedom loving citizens everywhere. It should be left to the property owners to determine whether or not smoking would be allowed in these areas,” said Chris McCalla, legislative director of the IPCPR, as association of some 2,000 retailers and manufacturers of premium cigars, pipes, fine tobaccos and related accoutrements.
The resolution maintains that the proposed ban “is necessary to protect the health of residents in the County.”
“Ridiculous,” said McCalla. “Secondhand smoke is hardly problematic from a health standpoint. However, people who smoke – whether it is cigarettes, fine cigars or aromatic pipes – should be courteous to others. Courtesy and civility should prevail, not onerous legislation that some would say is unconstitutional.”
McCalla cited the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s own standard for safe levels of secondhand smoke which is up to 25,000 times higher than levels normally found in establishments like bars and restaurants where smoking is allowed.
He called on all Montgomery County residents to voice their opposition to the regulation by notifying their County Council members or by calling 240-777-7803 to sign up to testify at the hearing on Thursday at 7:30pm at 100 Maryland Avenue.