The Washington Post is backing a smokefree parks and bus shelters measure that the Council tentatively approved in July.
In an editorial that ran over the weekend, the paper wrote:
The move to restrict outdoor smoking, also supported by Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s administration, is an encouraging sign of the council’s renewed interest in trying to discourage smoking.
The paper noted the lack of opposition to making outdoor areas smokefree, saying that it is likely a reflection of the public’s lowered tolerance for smoking.
The paper suggested that the measure is good but isn’t enough, rightly noting that D.C. needs to ensure that money is dedicated annually to tobacco control measures:
Anything that discourages smoking and protects people from the harmful effects of secondhand smoke is worthwhile. But the city needs to do more than extend outdoor smoking restrictions if it wants a truly effective and comprehensive tobacco prevention program. … The District has lagged in mounting a comprehensive tobacco prevention program; the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ranked D.C. 35th among states in the funding of cessation programs. The $495,000 cited by the CDC for fiscal 2013 is an improvement over the previous year, when no money was allocated.
A final Council vote is expected in September.