Administrator of hospital approves tobacco ordinance
July 5, 2001
To the Editor;
I have been asked to comment on the need for our community to take proactive steps in reducing the abuse of tobacco by our young people. Specifically, the need for a strong statement from our community leaders that they believe that use of tobacco by our children under the age of 18 is intolerable, is required. There is no doubt in my mind that this is a huge public health problem that defies simply solutions; however, I believe it is critically important for our community to clearly establish its principles on the matter. Therefore, I support the concept of an ordinance which would make possession of tobacco by children unlawful. This would need to be viewed as simply a starting point around which an array of supportive programs could be initiated so that, at the end of the day, we have an effective community supported strategy that is reasonably calculated to improve the situation. Clearly, it is an unreasonable expectation to “dump” the problem in the laps of law enforcement officers and I don’t believe that this is the notion that is being pursued. More important is the fact that the Council is willing to articulate its position on the subject and then empower others to rally around that statement of community values. This is the right thing to do and the time has come to make this step.
R. Randell Phelps, Administrator
The Memorial Hospital