I'm responding publicly regarding inaccurate information posted on the No2theban website Facebook page. Since I don't Facebook, I want to respond to a comment posted that states I'm Commissioner Dan Greathouse's employee. I was a county employee, the director of Technology and Communications, but retired last year so I am currently not an employee of the county. While employed I did have a unilateral right to express views freely about any subject of my choosing, to any newspaper. I personally feel a smoking ban is long overdue in Hancock County and my view is NOT in anyway associated with the Hancock County Commission or the Hancock County Health Department, as suggested by No2theban.
I'm not sure who is behind the No2theban website but if they can't get a simple item like who works for whom correct, I have to assume the other information they're pushing is inaccurate also.
All anyone needs to look at is information published by the AMA (American Medical Association) to realize how bad smoking is, including second-hand smoke, and how healthcare costs raise as a result of those who do smoke. As an ex-smoker, I know firsthand the problems that smoking can cause. I've been smoke-free for more than 35 years and now can't tolerate being anywhere near smoke.
For so much talk about jobs and economic impact, consider this: Do you know why our young people never return to Hancock County after finishing college? The fact is simple; there are no jobs. To say we want to keep our families and kids here is simply ridicules. The majority of jobs are at Mountaineer and/or cafes, all of which are centered on gambling, drinking and smoking. So where are the great job opportunities?
A solution to this problem is simple; think outside the box. You have to first incorporate a smoking ban, then look at creating new opportunities for Mountaineer and the cafes to drawn people in. Businesses can surely come up with ways to attract non-smokers. Opportunities can be found by remembering there are more non-smokers than smokers. However, if you allow smoking to continue, nothing changes and eventually there will be a loss of jobs and revenue.
Thomas W. Zielinsky