If you've ever watched a loved one die of emphysema or lung cancer, you know it is heart wrenching and painful. In many, if not most cases, smoking is the culprit. There has been a move over the years for individual businesses, restaurants, cities and states to become smoke free. When this has happened locally, like in Gulfport, we have done editorials applauding this action.
Biloxi now taking up this issue is a step toward a healthier South Mississippi. We certainly hope that in the end, Biloxi leaders will pass some form of this measure.
You can't escape the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention statistics about just how deadly smoking and second hand smoke can be. Last year, more than four hundred thirty thousand people died from smoking related illnesses. Of those deaths, more than 49 thousand were attributed to secondhand smoke exposure.
There are many arguments on both sides of Biloxi's smoking ban proposal. One is the impact on tourism. But, if Florida tourism can thrive under a smoking ban, why can't Biloxi's thrive too?
You can't escape the fact that our community would become healthier if another South Mississippi city became smoke free. We certainly hope that Biloxi leaders will decide to make that move.
That's our opinion, we would like to hear yours. Email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org, or post your comments below.
WLOX-TV General Manager
©2012 WLOX. All rights reserved.