REGISTER VIEWPOINT: Smoking ban makes sense and dollars

No smoking on the grounds of Firelands Regional Medical Center. No smoking on Erie County property. Wh
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

No smoking on the grounds of Firelands Regional Medical Center.

No smoking on Erie County property.

Why should we all applaud that?

Our wallets, that's why.

Debate until the cows come home whether smoking's a hazard to people besides smokers, even if science hasn't pretty much settled it.

Debate whether the same sort of physiological correctness should be applied to, say, people who weigh too much. That's probably next, given the fact fast-food chains are bowing either to scientific wisdom or lawsuit pressure in removing trans-fats from their production processes.

The fact is, it's cheaper for an employer to pay health insurance premiums if it discourages smoking. For whatever reason you want to embrace, that's a dollars-and-sense fact.

When the employer is a local economic powerhouse such as Firelands Regional Medical Center, that just might have a salutary effect on health premiums paid by other local employers. It certainly means less health-insurance money taken out of the paychecks of the people who work there, and that might just be money spent elsewhere in the county.

When the employer is funded by our taxes, as is Erie County government, the effect on our pocketbooks is even more direct.

People are coming around to the idea that giving up smoking can have a long-term benefit.

Looks like there's a short-term benefit, too, and it's not just finding other things to do with that 40 bucks or so you were spending on a carton.