KC should enact ban on smoking

Monday, December 8, 2003

The Kansas City Star

The effort to ban smoking in indoor public places throughout the Kansas City metropolitan area should push forward. ...

... Elected officials haven't had the courage yet to embrace a ban, even if it would reduce adverse health effects on the great majority of people who are nonsmokers.

Independence City Council members declined to act several years ago. Mission, Kan., recently put off action, too. And some Kansas City politicians lamely contend that they don't want to ban smoking in public places until other cities agree to a similar law.

... The Kansas City Health Commission is expected to review antismoking ordinances for the city council to consider in early 2004. The commission already is on record supporting a total ban. But some restaurants and bars in the city are pressuring elected officials to work instead for a regional law. That would be more difficult and time-consuming.

In other words, delay, delay, delay.

Mayor Kay Barnes and the Kansas City Council need to lead the way. They should approve a total ban on smoking in indoor public places, and challenge other cities to join this needed reform.

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