"Real liberty is neither found in despotism or the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments.
Alexander Hamilton

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Petitioned Warrant Article to Prohibit Smoking in Town Facilities

New Hampshire’s statewide ban of smoking became effective on September 17, 2007. No on can argue with the fact that smoking kills. According to the June 2014 Report of the US Surgeon General:  "Evidence in this new report shows tobacco’s continued, immense burden to our nation—and how essential ending the tobacco epidemic is to our work to increase the life expectancy and quality of life of all Americans. This year alone, nearly one-half million adults will still die prematurely because of smoking. Annually, the total economic costs due to tobacco are now over $289 billion. And if we continue on our current trajectory, 5.6 million children alive today who are younger than 18 years of age will die prematurely as a result of smoking."
As a Respiratory Care professional, I have seen first hand for nearly 36 years how smoking causes debilitating illness and often prolonged and painful deaths. Smoking is bad for you, it is bad for those exposed to second hand smoke and the image of town employees smoking while at work is not in my personal opinion, a positive public image we ought to be projecting. 
To that end, I did some research and found that many towns in NH have enacted strict non-smoking policies. I found the policy in place in Wolfeboro ( enacted in 2009) to be a reasonable one and other than a few cosmetic changes I intend to submit it as the following petitioned warrant article for 2015 Town Meeting as a private citizen: 
"To see if the Town will vote to enact the following ordinance: In accordance with the NH Indoor Smoking Act (RSA‘s 155:64 to 78), the smoking of tobacco products is prohibited in all Town-owned buildings, other enclosed spaces, and vehicles owned by the Town of Moultonborough. In addition, it is the policy of the Town of Moultonborough that Town employees are prohibited from smoking on any properties owned by the Town of Moultonborough, including streets, sidewalks, and parks, during “on-duty” hours as a Town employee, with the exception of outdoor designated smoking areas that may be established by Department Heads to accommodate Town employees, and others who wish to smoke in designated areas. All Town-owned buildings shall be posted for “No Smoking”, as well as posting for “smoking-allowed” designated areas. Town department Heads and supervisors are charged with enforcing this policy by use of the Town’s progressive disciplinary procedures.  Any complaints about noncompliance with this policy should be directed to the Town Administrator. 
Smoking is defined as having in ones possession, a lighted cigarette, cigar or pipe or any device designed to produce the effect of smoking.
All terms in this section shall have the same intent and meaning as described in NH RSA 155:64 to 78.
The policy will be effective 60 days after ratification by the legislative body"

Copies of the petition in .PDF format can be found here for easy printing. We need 25 signatures of registered voters in Moultonboro to put this on the ballot. So go to the link, print out the petition and collect as many signatures as you can. When done, please mail the petition to:
Paul Punturieri
Box 297
Moultonborough, NH 03254
You can also drop off petitions to me at any BoS meeting.
The deadline to submit petitions for the 2015 Warrant is February 3rd, 2015.
In addition, I will have hard copies with me when I attend public meetings in Town.
Thank you in advance for your support of this important initiative. 

11 comments:

marlboro man said...

Good! I will sign it. Stopped smoking many years ago and wish I never started. Wonder though if the town will truly discipline offenders.

Anonymous said...

Would be happy to sign. I learn this past summer an old school chum is dying of emphysema. She's been a smoker most of her life and could ever kick the habit. Very sad that her life will be cut short and she will miss seeing her grandkids grow up.

Nanny State said...

More "big government".

Now Moultonborough can be progressive and become a nanny town.

Got to wonder if anyone in this town has any hobbies. As they appear to have nothing better to do with themselves.

Moultonboro Blogger said...

Nanny state, you have the option of not signing a petition and also showing up at town meeting to vote for or against.

Get Involved said...

Nanny State, what a cop out. You must have been M I A during American History and Civics classes.

Our form of government was designed for citizen participation. Instead of being a whiny spectator, criticizing those that do participate, get off your duff and get involved.

PS
There's still plenty of time for hobbies.

Anonymous said...

There should be an outrage against those in our elected town government who go out of their way to solve problems that do not exist.
What next?

Moultonboro Blogger said...

Firstly,this is not submitted by "town government" but by a private citizen. The BOS did not submit this.
Secondly, as I have written in the past, don't sign the petition , speak your mind at town meeting and vote no if you are against it.
Thirdly, there are mountains of evidence that smoking is bad for you and the public that doesn't smoke or wish to be exposed to second hand smoke has the right to not be exposed to it.
Lastly, I don't give a rats ass if you smoke at home, in your car on the crapper, but if you need to smoke during working hours, you need to do it in a designated area away from the public.

Joe Camel said...

Amen!!!

Anonymous said...

Again, someone attempting to shove their morals upon all.
As some have stated above it appears that a few have nothing better to do then to seek problems that do not exist.
Cigarette smoking is legal in the United States the last time I looked. And there are current laws about such. Why more?
Someone must have an agenda.
Yes, I too, see so many complain about big government. And here we go again. Yes, we are becoming a nanny town right here in little Moultonborough. And yes, don't sign the petition and vote no at town meeting. Yeh, right. You know for a fact that the town meeting is fixed as few attend. Now, why don't we add some new zoning petitions to lesson the value of our properties. Let's pass the nodes. That was a good one. You have been taxed for decades for commercial property and now the town is taking the value of that land by circumventing eminent domain. Yes, I agree, the folks at the town hall really don't have much to do. Welcome the new boss - same as the old boss.

Anonymous said...

last I looked alcohol was legal. Guess its okay to drink and drive and endanger the public. And there are current laws about such. Why more?

Joe taxpayer who is not allowed to vote said...

I'm curious and I would like to know why we need an ordinance passed? In reading the state regulations already on the books, it appears that the town administration can and probably should just designate all town facilities to be non-smoking. Give the smokers a designated spot somewhere outside for those who need it and be done with it. Why is an ordinance that will never be enforced needed?