“On the sidewalks?” Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava (R-Moriah) questioned. “I know smoking is a dirty habit. It’s not illegal. At what point do we stop regulating people’s lives?”
Scozzafava is a smoker who said he’s tried to quit many times over the years.
Essex County Sheriff Richard Cutting said a tobacco-free regulation might not work well at the County Jail in Lewis.
“I was a smoker for 20 years; it’s been 21 years since I quit,” Cutting said. “My people would either have to go to one of two gas stations (nearby) or to a high grass field or to a swamp. It creates a security issue.”
The committee put off voting on the recommendation until more information is available and it can be discussed by the full Board of Supervisors.
“I think what we have is a difference of opinion between individual rights and the rights of everyone else who deals with smokers,” Supervisor David Blades (R-Lewis) said. “The bottom line is 18 of us will decide what that policy is going to be.”
He suggested anyone with questions or suggestions attend meetings of the Tobacco Policy Subcommittee. The next meeting is at 9 a.m. Monday, June 24, in the Old County Courthouse at Elizabethtown.
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