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Your Opinion: Lawmakers set poor example by failing to make Capitol entirely smoke-free

Your Opinion: Lawmakers set poor example by failing to make Capitol entirely smoke-free

January 19th, 2011 by Janet Wilson, Jefferson City in News

Dear Editor:

I was troubled that the Missouri House of Representatives defeated a resolution to make the state Capitol entirely smoke-free, including House members' offices. It was troubling to hear one House member ask when attacks on personal liberties were going to stop.

The state Capitol and the offices therein are the property of the state of Missouri, not owned by individual members of the House. All other state office buildings have been smoke-free for many years where state employees are not allowed to smoke in their offices, or for that matter, in a designated smoking area.

Why should members of the House of Representative, also employees of the state, be allowed to smoke in their offices and expose their staff, colleagues, and importantly constituents to their tobacco smoke?

What kind of role modeling is this for the thousands of school children that visit the state Capitol every year?