David Markgraf's argument in the Sept. 13, 2012, letters to the editor concerning the smoke-free effort is generally insulting and misleading.
However, his comment that those supporting the effort want to take money from health care is correct only if he means that they want to reduce smoking-related, health-care costs.
Markgraf admits that smoking is a health hazard, but dismisses the ample evidence that second-hand smoke is life-threatening. Second-hand smoke is dangerous because it sends carcinogenic material into the environment without the benefit of filtering through the lungs, heart, and blood stream of the smoker.
More than 1/3 of Mesquite’s workers are exposed daily to smoking related cancer-causing chemicals. This should not be a condition of employment. Both businesses and smokers have learned to avoid their responsibilities to others by shifting health-care costs to taxpayers (Medicare, Medicaid) and payers of ever increasing insurance premiums.
Robert Shepard, MD, has pointed to reliable studies showing a 10 to 15 percent drop in heart attacks across the United States from various smoke-free efforts. Other reductions in heart attacks include: 27 percent in Pueblo, Colo.; 39 percent in Ohio; 70 percent in Indiana; and 9 percent in New York. World-wide, research studies have shown a 30-percent drop in heart attacks in Canada and a 30-percent drop in health-care costs.
In another letter to the editor Markgraf attempted to argue that young people using the so-called smoke-free arcade and bowling alley were somehow immune from tobacco causing diseases. He is wrong.
Recent environmental tests, by members of the smoke-free group, have shown high levels of tobacco related carcinogenic particles in those allegedly smoke-free environments. The results were presented to the mayor and the city council, who failed to take any action to warn, or otherwise protect individuals who think they are entering protective environments.
Cigarette smoke cannot be eliminated by mechanical systems, according to the American Society of Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers. The only thing that works is to eliminate it completely.
Nevada law, and Mesquite politicians have created two classes of employees in Nevada – one that is worthy of protections (those who work in office buildings, schools, government buildings, restaurants) while others they leave unprotected.
Michael M. McGreer