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Virginia Leaders Should Reject Flawed Smoke-Free Legislation That Fails to Protect Everyone's Right to Breathe Clean Air
Date:2/5/2009

ehensive smoke-free laws that cover all workplaces, Virginia leaders should heed the call to do the same. If state lawmakers will not pass a comprehensive, statewide smoke-free law, they should -- at a minimum -- vote to give local communities the right to pass their own laws to protect their residents from the dangers of secondhand smoke.

It's time for Virginia to join the growing number of states and communities that have taken action to protect everyone's right to breathe clean air.

Facts about Secondhand Smoke and Smoke-Free Laws

  • Twenty-four states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico -- as well as hundreds of cities and towns -- have passed smoke-free laws that cover restaurants and bars. The states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont and Washington.
  • Secondhand smoke contains more than 4,000 chemicals, including at least 69 carcinogens. The Surgeon General found that secondhand smoke is a proven cause of lung cancer, heart disease, serious respiratory illnesses such as bronchitis, low birth weight and sudden infant death syndrome.
  • The evidence is clear that smoke-free laws protect health without harming business. As the Surgeon General concluded, "Evidence from peer-reviewed studies shows that smoke-free policies and regulations do not have an adverse impact on the hospitality industry."


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SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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