The Union Area Chamber of Commerce will host the first of periodic speaking lunches with Joette Reidy, who helped spearhead a smoke-free law in Washington.
Reidy is the spokesperson for Breathe Easy Washington, a coalition that worked to educate the community on the dangers of secondhand smoke and advocating for the need for smoke-free workplaces.
The event will be held on Thursday, May 30, at Hagie’s at noon. The cost to attend is $8 for Chamber members and $15 for non-Chamber members.
Chamber Executive Director Tammy Stowe said Reidy will talk about her experiences going through steps to help draft a smoking law in Washington and why she believes it is an important health issue for the community.
The efforts of Reidy, and others with Breathe Easy Washington led to a Washington city ordinance that prohibits smoking in restaurants, bars, businesses, workplaces and other public places.
In addition to public places, including private clubs, the act also prohibits smoking outdoors near bleachers and grandstands and around playgrounds.
The law does not prohibit smoking outside or in private residences unless they are used as a childcare, adult daycare or health care facility.
Since the law was passed, the council has made some changes, including allowing smoking, for demonstration purposes only, in a designated area of the Missouri Meerschaum Corn Cob Pipe factory.
The council also amended the distance that smokers must stay back from the main entrance and ventilation facilities of a building from 20 to 10 feet.
The full ordinance can be found on the city’s website: www.ci.washington.mo.us.
Stowe said this is the first of other speaking events that will likely be held during lunches.
The series was developed by Stowe and the Chamber board of directors.
“The board and I sat down and started thinking of ways to add value to membership, and to keep the community informed on issues that may affect it,” she said.
Stowe said the speaking events will be at noon so those in the community may be able to easily attend during the lunch hour.
She said board members will take turns to find a speaker.
“They will present issues that are relevant to business owners,” Stowe said. “Things that are important for the community.”
For more information, or to sign up for the May 30 event, people may call Stowe at 636-583-8979 or firstname.lastname@example.org.