County Council is on right path with smoking ban

The recent actions of the Maui County Council to possibly move forward with prohibiting smoking on our county beaches and parks is truly welcomed by a large majority of county residents and visitors alike.

I would like to give one vital statistic. There is no acceptable level of exposure to secondhand smoke. Even the smallest amounts of secondhand smoke can trigger adverse reactions in adults and especially children.

Secondhand smoke causes 300,000 cases of bronchitis and pneumonia in children every year. Secondhand smoke is a known human carcinogen.

This is not a social issue, it is a health issue and hopefully the council will view it as such.

If you are thinking a person has a right to smoke you are gravely mistaken. No court has ever recognized smoking as a fundamental right nor has any court ever found smokers to be a protected class. Every court that has considered the issue declared that no fundamental right to smoke exists. Hence, prohibiting smoking on our public beaches and parks is not a social or legal issue. It is a health issue and I hope the council will view it as such.

It is time to get on board with other councils and communities that have taken this step and make our beaches and parks smoke free. We’ll all breathe a sigh of relief.

George F. McDowell