November 20, 2008

City may enact wide smoking ban

Reporter Jackie Majerus wrote this story:
While Bristol Hospital is asking for a municipal ban on smoking on Newell Road, city councilors supportive of the law may take it a step farther and make breathing easier in other publicly owned spaces, too.
Councilor Craig Minor, who chairs the ordinance committee, said he would like for the city to adopt a new law that would allow city councilors to ban smoking in public areas owned by the city.
It takes three or four months to pass an ordinance, said Minor, if things are moving quickly. He said that if the city agreed to ban smoking on Newell Road to accommodate the hospital, it may get more requests for similar action in other areas.
"There are other places in town where smoking is allowed that people are unhappy about," said Minor, who said he's sometimes had to walk through a cloud of smoke to enter the library.
So Minor proposed a law that would allow the Bristol City Council to be able to declare a smoke-free zone on city-owned property where it saw fit.
Other members of the ordinance committee favor it, said Minor, and they've asked Corporation Counsel Dale Clift to write a draft law to show city councilors when they meet on December 11.
There could be a public hearing on the issue late in January, said Minor, at an ordinance committee meeting, with possible adoption by the council in February.
School grounds, the library property, city parks and City Hall property are all possible places where smoking could be banned, said Minor.
Bristol Hospital President Kurt Barwis got the ball rolling when he asked Mayor Art Ward if the city would ban smoking on Newell Road, a short street that dissects hospital property and runs all the way to the hospital's emergency entrance.
Barwis said he once saw city fire trucks racing to the hospital because a smoker deposited a still-burning cigarette into a trash can on the way into the hospital and set it on fire.
That careless act cost not only the time and energy of the emergency responders, but Barwis said people who were trying to enter the hospital were delayed by the commotion.
"It really struck me how wrong it was," said Barwis.
Beyond the ordinance committee, the idea has support.
Ward, who said he marks 12 years as smoke-free next month after breaking a nicotine habit of more than two packs of cigarettes a day, said he "absolutely supports" the city banning smoking from some municipally-owned areas.
"I think they're going to take a look at the city as a whole," Ward said. He said he's especially keen on eliminating the cloud of smoke where children are present.
"It speaks volumes about the city's commitment to youth," said Ward. "We set the example by our actions rather than our words."
City Councilor Ken Cockayne said he is "absolutely" and "100 percent" in favor of the idea of banning smoking on Newell Road.
"I think it's a great idea," said Cockayne, who said he does not smoke now and never has.
State law already prohibits smoking in restaurants and bars in Connecticut as well as public buildings.
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Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

27 comments:

Anonymous said...

You have got to be kidding me. While the number one issue in every home, every city, every state, and the nation, is how to stay afloat, the Bristol City Council is discussing a smoking ban? Why isn't the Bristol City Council discussing/debating - how to save this town money - in an economic crisis. The Mayor suggests we cut library hours, the Supt of schools has no ideas as to how to cut costs???? Is no political leader, I use the term loosly, in this town willing to stand up and make the hard decisions in hard times or is it just political B.S. to protect the norm which has led us to this situation in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Would that include smokingwhile driving a car on newell street, or while shovrling my driveway on newell street.

Where and when does government stop getting involved?

Anonymous said...

Enough already.

AnonymousWestconnStudent said...

With all the issues on the table this is the topic of discussion. Really...really

Anonymous said...

PLEASE......find something more constructive to do. The fees that Clift is going bill the city for creating a draft makes this idea a costly one to begin with. You know that someone will also file a suit crying discrimination. Now is not the time to be dealing with such a trivial issue. Let the police dept or fire marshall investigate such fires and take action if there was negligence. I never had an opinion on Ward but I believe that in this changing economic world we need young blood that runs this city like a multi million dollar corporation......you know that he would if there was a bonus for his year end performance.

Anonymous said...

One functions at ones level of competence.

This is the ultimate for Art.

Anonymous said...

Good. Now we'll have to hire more cops to respond to complaints.

Any more friends to take care of?

Anonymous said...

I always found it quite surprising when I would go visit a relative in the hospital, usually do to a smoking related illness and you would have to walk through a cloud of smoke from nurses standing outside having a smoke. I for one am glad they banned it on Hospital grounds, although I do remember seeing signs posted everywhere outside the hospital saying NO SMOKING on hospital grounds. As far as a further reaching ban, as a cigar smoker I am opposed to it. On the other hand as a parent of young children I see nothing wrong with banning smoking anywhere children would be on public property, ie Libraries, playgrounds and schools.

Anonymous said...

Upset with this...stop voting in Democrats who want to spend taxpayers money and have the government more involved in your life and make decisions for you. This is only going to get worse.

Anonymous said...

what a warped sense of values of some of you posters. is the world supposed to stop because you aren't in agreement with an opinion?
i personally appplaud those seeking this smoking issue - aren't we supposed to be promoting non-smoking to our youth, wasn't that the basis of the lawsuits against the tobacco companies?
no one is talking about invading your home, they are talking places like libraries, schools etc.

Anonymous said...

Freedom means NOTHING in Bristol !!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Color in the ovals next to the names of the people who believe in less government.

Anonymous said...

11:31 - color the spots on your lungs when you finish your next puff on that ciggarette that you are coughing on.

Anonymous said...

"One functions at ones level of competence."

Guess that would explain your juvenile and pointless comment! ;0)

Anonymous said...

9:34 - Not a smoker, but believe in freedom to do so. It is right that it is banned indoors, where everyone else has to breathe it, but in the open air there is no reason for limitations.

Anonymous said...

1:41 - What about the freedom of people who don't smoke and who don't want to have to breath in someone else's secondhand cancer whenever they walk outside the doors of the library or the hospital? Smokers should be free to kill themselves if they want to, but they should do it far, far away from the lungs of those who don't.

Anonymous said...

10:43

You write and sound like Artie.

Are you related?

Anonymous said...

Why is Cockayne commenting on this? I guess his handlers didn't tell him that that GOP is for less government. Thanks Ken, you jackass!

Reality Check said...

* This would far & away, be the BEST action that Bristol Govt has or will ever undertake and MUST be Passed and Enforced soon. Amongst other necessary reforms in our society, the time has come for this insidious addiction to be banned from the face of the earth. Not only to rid us of the noxious, poisonous fumes and deadly diseases but also to eliminate the countless butts that litter the planet forever. Absolutely no person has the "right" to poison or kill themselves or others not to mention desecrate the earth. If any of these pitiful drug addicts fail to comply - they shall be banished to the pointless forest !!

Anonymous said...

"You write and sound like Artie. Are you related?"

Well no 4:30, I'm not, but I think he's a pretty intelligent and articulate enough guy, so I'll take that as a compliment!

Anonymous said...

8:44

You certainly did not convince me that you are not ward, or relatd.

Anonymous said...

12:21 - guess that you are gonna have some toss and turn nights fretting over weather or not artie is the one to respond - geez, life must be real troublesome for you - hope that you don't step on the crack in the sidewalk.

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I find your insistence that I'm the mayor (or a relative of his) a little creepy. You really should try to focus your energy elsewhere. Your assumption about my identity, like most of your comments, is pretty pointless! ;o)

Gomer said...

If the city/state correct Route 6, and some city dollars are involved, will that allow the city to stop people from smoking as they drive on the improved section?

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the city enforce the no cell phone while driving law before we get into more banning?

Anonymous said...

2:32 - hey Gomer, sounds like you have Pyles.

Democrats @ work said...

Don't you just gotta love it ....


Legalize drug use and criminalize cigarette smoking .....

Gotta make it easier for the unionized police force .