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Hundreds to Gather for Rally in Celebration of Right to Breathe Clean Air
Date:10/22/2007

'Enjoy the Freedom to Breathe' Event to Raise Awareness of Benefits of

Smoke-free Policies

MINNEAPOLIS, Oct. 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hundreds of attendees of this week's 2007 National Conference on Tobacco or Health -- including adults and JEL students representing Iowa -- will rally Thursday outside the Minneapolis Convention Center to raise awareness about the benefits of smoke-free policies and celebrate the progress of smoke-free laws across the nation.

The "Enjoy the Freedom to Breathe!" rally will highlight Minnesota's implementation earlier this month of a comprehensive workplace smoke-free law. With the action in Minnesota, more than half the U.S. population is now protected by smoke-free laws that include restaurants and bars. At the rally, a giant cake in the shape of the United States will illustrate the progress of smoke-free laws by mapping out states and communities that already protect their residents' right to breathe clean air.

Iowa adults and JEL students attending the rally will take part to raise awareness that there is work to be done in the state. No laws have been passed in Iowa that protect workers from secondhand smoke. Local communities are not able to pass ordinances because of language in our state code. Health advocates from across the state will be working to restore local control to communities this next legislative session. All Iowans have the right to breathe clean air.

The rally is sponsored by Minnesota's Catalyst youth activism movement, Americans for Nonsmokers' Rights, the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the American Legacy Foundation, youth advocacy groups from across the country, and other partners. The National Conference on Tobacco or Health begins tomorrow and runs through Friday. Approximately 3,000 public health advocates -- including more than 100 teens from across the country -- are expected to attend.

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SOURCE American Lung Association of Iowa
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