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Nevada Today

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History of Aircraft Smoking Aired

[amazon_link asins=’B01EVMK0H0′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’nevadatoday-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b77fd1f2-2587-11e8-9a5f-0df8210624e3′]By George Butler

Good evening Mayor & gentlemen of the (Mesquite, NV) City Council. My name is George Butler and I am a retired officer of the U.S. Public Health Service as an environmental engineer, specialized in occupational health.

The purpose of my short discussion tonight is to establish the fact that regulations regarding health are quite often “down-cast” before they are finally recognized. In 1968 complaints of cigarette smoke in commercial aircraft was on the increase and therefore the FAA sought assistance from the Public Health Service to investigate potential health problems.  In 1970, the agencies commenced tests within various passenger carrying aircraft.  I was a member of one of the teams involved on the flights. The results of the study was the beginning of the changes that eventually discontinued smoking in commercial airplanes.  As you know it took several years to accomplish it.  And today flight crews and passengers work and travel in a far healthier environment.

Prior to the ratification  of the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, the feeling of many industries was if a worker became sick or hurt associated with the job, he was “relieved” of his job and someone else would fill in. Nothing would be changed. There was the typical argument that if the Feds got a law controlling work areas, many smaller companies would go out of business. Today, our country has the safest and healthiest work environments in the world.  And OSHA has not been repealed!

And finally, we all remember when California and Nevada ruled that smoking in restaurants and bars would no longer be allowed, the cry could be heard, “small bars and restaurants would be forced to close”. I believe a similar feeling exists regarding smoking in casinos if legislation was enacted in Mesquite.

Casinos now are resisting and employees and patrons are subjected to significant health effects  from exposure to second hand smoke. Going smoke free in the casinos protects the workers and the public. It is the responsibility of city council to protect its constituents and visitors. Going smoke free is the right thing to do.

Gentlemen, thank you for your time.

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About Author

Michael McGreer Mesquite, Nevada
Dr. Michael Manford McGreer is managing editor of and writes on issues that impact public policy.

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