Sullivan County Democrat
Callicoon, New York
April 10, 2012 Issue
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"The Wild Gardener"
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County planning on smoke-free policy

By Dan Hust
MONTICELLO — Looks like Sullivan County is headed for a complete smoking ban.
At Thursday’s Public Works Committee meeting, Legislator David Sager proposed prohibiting smoking on all county-owned property.
He and other legislators reasoned that a blanket ban would be easier to enforce than keeping smokers to three feet or more away from county buildings (as is the current practice).
Legislator Ron Hiatt, however, disagreed.
“I used to smoke,” he acknowledged. “I know that smokers these days are kind of like an oppressed class, and I feel for them.
“... Just let them go and smoke, for crying out loud!”
“It’s sales tax dollars, right?” quipped Legislator Leni Binder.
“For some of those people, this is like all they have, and it would be cruel [to ban it],” Hiatt insisted.
“It’s crueler to watch someone die from lung cancer,” replied Legislator Frank Armstrong, himself an ex-smoker.
Legislators did agree to give county employees and visitors six months’ notice before enacting the ban.
A public hearing is required and will likely be held at the January 20 full meeting of the Legislature, once a draft law is drawn up.
If enacted, the law would prohibit smoking even at locations like the Adult Care Center in Liberty and Lake Superior State Park in Bethel, where Public Works Commissioner Bob Meyer said cigarette butts discarded on the beach have become a problem.

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