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

DOH responds to our letter about illegal hookah, cigar bars

Good news: Our letter about potentially illegal hookah and cigar bars in the city is getting reaction. (See our earlier post for the letter.)

Dr. Saul Levin, interim director of the city’s Department of Health, wrote back to us, saying that he is”deeply concerned about the proliferation of [h]ookah bars” and that he is exploring options.

Now, [...]

Hookah, cigar bars appear to be operating illegally

The new hookah bars popping up around town — and a new cigar bar in Friendship Heights — have raised eyebrows among us here at Smokefree DC.

Hookah and cigar bars are allowed, of course, but only if a certain percentage of their sales are tobacco, and only after they get cleared by the city’s Department [...]

Zukerberg tops grading of questionnaires for April 23 special election

flickr photo courtesy of aka_lusi

We weren’t expecting this, but here are the results of Smokefree DC’s grading of our candidate questionnaires: marijuana defense attorney Paul Zukerberg topped the field with a “B,” while former Washington Post reporter Elissa Silverman followed with a “D” and ANC commissioner Matthew Frumin received an “F.”

Green Party candidate Perry [...]

D.C. Council to consider smokefree playground bill

flickr photo courtesy of cryptic_star

Smoke-free playgrounds?

That would definitely be a step in the right direction here in the District of Columbia.

D.C. Councilmember Vincent Orange this week introduced a bill that would make areas near playgrounds smoke-free.

According to the bill text sent to us by Orange’s office, the measure would:

prohibit smoking within 25 feet of [...]

Update: Montgomery County Council extends protections for non-smokers

Update: The Montgomery County Council today extended protections for non-smokers from secondhand smoke. Way to go!

One of the provisions of the measure makes bus stops smokefree.

Will the District follow suit? It should.

Montgomery County Councilmember Nancy Floreen, who sponsored the measure, noted:

There is no risk-free level of exposure to secondhand smoke. We are stewards of public [...]

Montgomery County Council to make county property smokefree

The Montgomery County Council on Tuesday will consider making almost all county-owned property smokefree.  The measure is anticipated to pass.

It should.

The measure would protect non-smokers from secondhand smoke at bus stops and bus shelters. The Falls Road golf course would be exempt.

Fairfax County made bus shelters smokefree in 2010. Once Montgomery County approves this measure, [...]

Dear WMATA: Please protect riders from secondhand smoke

Flickr photo courtesy of pocius

We sent a letter to WMATA today, urging it to do more to protect riders from secondhand smoke. Here is the letter:

To the Board of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMTA) and WMATA General Manager Richard Sarles:

Recently, one of your riders launched a petition on Change.org calling on WMATA [...]

Great news: American University, GWU to go smokefree in 2013

flickr photo courtesy of ryan gregor

Great news today: Both American University and George Washington University are going smokefree in 2013. American University also will go tobacco-free, meaning there will be no tobacco products on campus.

We could say “it’s about time,” but we’re just thrilled that the school administrators recognized the dangers of secondhand smoke [...]

Grosso, Mendelson top Smokefree DC candidate questionnaire

flickr photo courtesy of kristib2pea

The final questionnaires are in.

Of the candidates who responded, two rose to the top: David Grosso, who is running at large and received an “A,” and Council Member Phil Mendelson, who is running for Council chair and received a “B.”

The remaining candidates who answered the questionnaire primarily got Ds and [...]

Petition update: That Metro rider next to you may be allergic to cigarette smoke

flickr photo courtesy of lanier67

Look around next time you ride a Metro bus or train. The person next to you may have asthma or be allergic to cigarette smoke. Judging from the comments on a recently launched Change.org petition calling on WMATA to enforce its no-smoking policy, there are quite a few Metro passengers who [...]