Friday, October 16, 2009
Smoking Ban & Tourism
There is a Letter to the Editor in the Marianas Variety saying that the smoking ban on Saipan is bad for small businesses that depend on tourism since a large percent of tourists smoke. According to the author, a smoking ban will deter many tourists from business establishments where they can't smoke resulting in them not wanting to come back and them telling their friends not to visit.
I've heard this argument before and it holds no water. Where is the evidence for this. None were presented so I am going to say that it is an assumption. Is there evidence of smoking bans NOT harming the tourism industry though ? Here's one from the American Cancer Society website siting a study published in the The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA 1999:281:1911-8). There are more.
The author of the letter also calls for voters to find out which lawmakers agreed to pass the Smoke Free Air Act (CNMI Public Law 16-46) and not vote for "lawmakers that will work for the people not against them". I say, consider reelecting them. Shake their hands when you see them. Thank them for being champions of public health in the CNMI. Thank [Rep.] Justo Quitugua, the author of the bill, [Rep.] Ralph Torres, chairman for the Health, Education and Welfare Committee, and Speaker Arnold Palacios and Vice Speaker Joseph Guerrero for caring about our health.
Thank you for the clean air, less chronic diseases, less children with respiratory problems, and better understanding of what does or does not affect tourism.