Smokefree DC is a citizen-based group whose goal is to promote smokefree environments in Washington, DC.

D.C. Council approves permanent exemption to smokefree workplaces law for cigar-smoking events

On the bright side, the huge exemption to the smokefree workplaces law just got just smaller.

The D.C. Council today approved a measure that would limit it to two events per year: Fight Night (a charity fundraiser) and the annual event held by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick, to which Councilmember Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) has ties.

That’s about the only good thing that we can say. The fact that the Council cavalierly and permanently weakened the popular health law is hugely problematic. The fact that it did so by bypassing the committee process – therefore ensuring no public input or debate – is even worse.

The Council was so caught up in a heated debate over taxes and bonds that they didn’t even debate the exemption, which is for two cigar-smoking events a year.

It was amusing, though, to witness Evans’ hypocrisy. He had the gall to complain that his colleagues had bypassed the committee process on the tax issue … which of course is exactly what he and Councilmember Michael Brown (D-At Large) did when pushing the smokefree exemption. In fact, he even told us when we ran into him recently at the Wilson Building that he bypassed the committee process because otherwise, he would lose.

So there you have it. Not a proud moment for the D.C. Council.

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