by Lisa Sorg
In a very impassioned House session, state lawmakers are arguing over a proposed bill to ban smoking indoors in public places, including workplaces. House Bill 2 has been amended four times. Today, Rep. Jennifer Weiss, D-Wake, told critics of the ban that if employers allow smoking in the workplace, they should provide health care for full time employees. (She did not introduce this as an amendment.)
Here's more of Weiss' comments:
"If we're going to talk about rights in this chamber we should talk about responsibilities as well. If you choose to eat too many Twinkies, that affects your health. But if you choose to smoke in an enclosed area that affects other people."
"If you choose to allow smoking as an employer, you’re choosing to impose a smoky work environment on your employees. What you’re saying is 'You will work in this environment and you will breathe this smoke.' If you choose to do this, you need to choose to pay for health insurance for those folks because I as a taxpayer would choose not to pick up tab for the costs of smoking in restaurants."
"We should give employees the same healthy environment we’ve given ourselves."
Smoking was banned in the House in 2003.