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New CDC Study Shows Smoke-Free Laws Spreading Across U.S. and Should Spur Remaining States to Take Action
Date:5/22/2008

Statement of William V. Corr Executive Director, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

WASHINGTON, May 22 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A new study published today by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention underscores the powerful momentum across the country to pass strong smoke-free workplace laws that protect all workers and the public from the serious health hazards of secondhand smoke. This study should spur every state and community to pass smoke-free laws that protect all workers from this entirely preventable health hazard, including restaurant, bar and casino workers who are especially at risk of exposure to high concentrations of secondhand smoke. Everyone has the right to breathe clean air, and no one should have to put their health at risk in order to earn a living or enjoy a night out.

Michigan and Pennsylvania have the most immediate opportunities to join the growing list of smoke-free states and communities. In Michigan, the state House should vote as soon as possible to concur with HB 4163, the comprehensive smoke-free legislation recently passed by a wide margin in the state Senate. In Pennsylvania, a legislative conference committee should approve legislation that rejects exemptions for bars and casinos and grants local governments the authority to enact their own, stronger smoke-free laws.

According to the CDC study, published in this week's issue of the CDC journal Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the number of states with strong smoke-free laws tripled and the number with no such laws was halved between 2005 and 2007. During the study period, 18 states strengthened smoke-free protections in private sector worksites, 18 states strengthened protections in restaurants, and 12 states strengthened protections in bars (there was some overlap in these states). No state weakened smoke-free protections.

Since the study period, several more states have enacted smoke-free laws that include restaurants and b
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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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