Eye Opener: No smoking near federal buildings?
Happy Friday! A New York lawmaker is trying -- yet again -- to ban smoking within 25 feet of federal buildings.
Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) introduced a bill this week that bans the practice, even though the General Services Administration last year banned puffing within 25 feet of federal building doorways and intake ducts.
The policy closed interior smoking rooms, but does not apply to federal buildings in which people are "voluntarily or involuntarily residing," such as prisons. It also allows for "instances where an agency head establishes limited and narrow exceptions that are necessary to accomplish agency missions."
Federal employees have fought the existence of interior smoking rooms, outdoor smoking areas other loopholes in the GSA policy that might allow some colleagues to carve out indoor and outdoor smoking areas.
Engel's bill appears to help those efforts, if it ever passes.
"This is common sense legislation," Engel said in a statement, noting that he introduced the Healthy Air for Federal Workers Act to coincide with the Great American Smoke Out and Lung Cancer Awareness Month. Engel introduced a similar measure in July 2008 to no avail.
But how will the law be enforced? Is it really that necessary? Or is it long overdue?
And how might this impact President Obama -- who lives in a federal building and has never said that he's completely kicked the habit?
Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
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