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Letter: Support for smoke-free bill strong in all political parties

It's refreshing to see that some very important issues -- namely, taking measures to protect public health -- can actually bridge the gaps that exist between people of good will represent-ing so many different political perspectives.

The smoke-free legislation currently being examined at the state level is a prime example of an issue that overcomes partisan differences, and, thankfully, support for such a law has no-thing to do with conservative or liberal politics.

A recent writer declared that the statewide smoking ban "is being pushed by Democrats." According to a December survey, 77 percent of Minnesotans who self-identify as Republicans support a comprehensive statewide clean indoor air law that includes bars -- a number that is actually higher than the percentage of Democrats who feel the same way. A June poll, which specifically targeted those of us who live in Beltrami County, found a similar spectrum of support from Republicans, Democrats and independents, with 78, 73 and 67 percent showing support for the Beltrami County ordinance, respectively.

As an ordained minister, I can also attest that issues reflecting good health and concern for proper stewardship of our bodies as a gift from our Creator crosses religious and denominational lines, as well. Taking a stand on something that clearly hurts God's people of all persuasions, regardless of where they work, is something we can all support.

Nicotine and the other chemicals found in processed tobacco are equal-opportunity destroyers of good health.

Robert D. Roach

Doctor of Ministry