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South Dakota Becomes 24th State to Meet American Lung Association Smokefree Air Challenge by Passing Legislation Protecting All Workers from Secondhand Smoke

CHICAGO, March 19 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, South Dakota residents have reason to celebrate. South Dakota is now officially the 24th state in the nation, and the first in 2009 to pass a comprehensive smokefree workplace law protecting virtually everyone from secondhand smoke, in both public places and at worksites.

"We applaud Governor Rounds and South Dakota lawmakers for making great strides in protecting health and saving lives with this legislation," said Harold Wimmer, President and CEO of the American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest.

Secondhand smoke is the third-leading cause of preventable death in this country and kills an estimated 50,000 Americans annually, according to the U.S. Surgeon General, and is the cause of a host of diseases and ailments including lung cancer, heart disease, SIDS and asthma. "No one should have to choose between their health and a paycheck," added Wimmer.

The American Lung Association in South Dakota worked together as part of the South Dakota Tobacco Free Kids Network to show the strong grassroots base of support for this law. We will use those same networks and volunteers to assure a smooth implementation on July 1, 2009.

The leadership shown by Governor Rounds and the bipartisan majority that voted to approve this legislation should serve as an example to other states now considering smokefree air laws.

The American Lung Association of the Upper Midwest is dedicated to protecting all workers from secondhand smoke.

SOURCE American Lung Association of South Dakota
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