Opinion Columns & Blogs

Time to ban or at least limit fairgoers’ smoking


Good for the Reno County teens who are lobbying to make the Kansas State Fair smoke-free, or at least to limit smoking to designated outdoor areas to improve the air quality at what is supposed to be a family-friendly event. As it is, no smoking is allowed inside fair buildings and the grandstand seating area. On Tuesday the fair board will consider the kids’ request to add the Kansas State Fair to the more than 15 state fairs that have implemented outdoor smoking restrictions. The fair’s leaders approach this as a tough issue, given that about 20 percent of Kansans are smokers. But other fairs that have made the move report little reaction. If the kids succeed in changing the policy at the state-funded fair, they should turn their attention to persuading the Legislature to extend the 2010 clean indoor air act to include the state-owned casinos. Outrageously, the state continues to allow itself this exemption from the statewide smoking ban. – Rhonda Holman