Floreen Proposes Smoking Ban on MoCo Property
Montgomery County Council member Nancy Floreen is proposing a bill to ban smoking on property owned or leased by Montgomery County. The ban would include all county properties except public rights of way. She plans to share details of her proposal at a press conference in Rockville on Nov. 15.
The bill, which is scheduled for introduction on Nov 20, is co-sponsored by Council Vice President Nancy Navarro and Councilmembers Craig Rice, Hans Riemer, George Leventhal and Marc Elrich. A public hearing on the bill is tentatively scheduled for Jan. 15.
The Nov. 15 news event will be held at 11:30 a.m. in the Third Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building, which is located at 100 Maryland Ave. in Rockville. Representatives of the American Cancer Society will be present as the event coincides with the organization’s 37 Great American Smokeout. The Smokeout is an annual event that urges smokers to give up their smoking habits.
“I have unfortunately spent a lot of time over the past year with people who have cancer,” said Council member Floreen, a survivor of breast cancer. “I want to do everything I can to help prevent this awful disease in all of its forms, and this is a good place to start.”
In Montgomery County, one in 12 adults smoke cigarettes. Nationally, tobacco use is responsible for one in five deaths, and an annual toll of 443,000 deaths. Smoking accounts for at least 30 percent of all cancer deaths and is associated with increased risk for 15 types of cancer. Tobacco use remains the single, largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the U.S.
“The Great American Smokeout is about helping people quit, and we know that passing this bill is critical to helping people in Montgomery County do just that,” said Bonita Pennino, Government Relations Director for the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network. “In addition we know that strong smoke-free laws mean fewer smokers and reduced health care costs.”