To the editor:
Last spring, Mayor Dunfield appointed a task force to explore options regarding tobacco policies. The Mayor's Task Force on Tobacco has before it an opportunity to protect and improve the health of all Lawrence citizens by proposing a policy or ordinance that would protect people from a deadly, indoor air pollutant: second-hand smoke!
There is overwhelming evidence that second-hand smoke is a killer. Every year, 53,000 non-smoking Americans die from exposure to it. The chemicals in second-hand smoke cause cancer, heart disease, sudden infant death syndrome and other life-threatening diseases.
It used to be that we thought nonsmoking sections or ventilation systems would protect us from second-hand smoke. But industry experts, such as Honeywell, admit that even the most modern ventilation systems cannot remove the dangerous toxins found in second-hand smoke.
It is time we realize that second-hand smoke isn't just an annoyance, it's a danger to all our health, especially our children and employees.
Michelle Miller, for the Douglas County CHIP Special Committee on Tobacco Prevention,