By Bob Katzen
The Senate approved 37-0, House approved on a voice vote without a roll call and the governor signed into law an amendment to the 1988 law that prohibits police officers and firefighters from using any tobacco products and results in the automatic firing of anyone who violates the policy.
The bill would amend the law to allow a first-time offender to remain on the force if he or she enters a smoking cessation program. If the officer violates the law a second time, he or she would be automatically fired.
Sen. Mike Brady (D-Brockton), the sponsor of the bill, was asked to file this legislation by a constituent. “I have spoken to several public safety personnel about this,” said Brady. “There have been employees that have been terminated in the past. I believe this is a common-sense approach to give those that put their lives on the line every day a second chance.”