Proposed bill would ban smoking on all MoCo government property

Kate Ryan, wtop.com

WASHINGTON – “There’s too much cancer out there.”

Those words come from Montgomery County council member Nancy Floreen. A cancer survivor, she says it’s time the county did more to attack the deadly disease. One way to do that, she says, is to ban smoking on all Montgomery County-owned property and property leased by the county.

“We do have places outside buildings where county employees can smoke and I’m sure they’re not going to greet this with any great amount of pleasure.”

But despite possible resistance, Floreen says a ban is the right thing to do. As for accusations that the county acts like a so-called “nanny state” when it takes on issues that deal with personal choice, Floreen says, “If you’re going to make your own choices, you’re going to have to do it in your own personal space.”

Floreen’s colleague on the council, and a supporter of Floreen’s proposed bill, Council member Craig Rice says it will be interesting to see how the public reacts. He points out the ban would apply to all county-owned parking garages, and county-owned facilities like golf courses.

“We’re going to face some challenges, but I think overall folks will understand that this is about making health a priority,” says Rice.

Other council members supporting the proposed ban are: Nancy Navarro, Marc Elrich, Hans Riemer and George Leventhal.

The bill will be introduced next week, and the first hearing is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 15th, 2013.

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)


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